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Labour Statistics

Volume 552: debated on Tuesday 6 November 2012

3. What recent assessment he has made of the level of employment in (a) Kettering constituency, (b) Northamptonshire and (c) England. (126519)

The number of people in employment in the year to June 2012 was 47,000 in Kettering, 347,000 in Northamptonshire and 24,497,000 in England. I am pleased to tell my hon. Friend that the number of people employed in each of those three areas is higher than when the Government took office.

The employment rate in Kettering is well above the national average. Of all the policy options before the Chancellor, which offered the best prospects of sustained, long-term and lasting employment growth for my constituents in the borough of Kettering?

The one policy that brought the coalition Government together was our determination to deal with the record budget deficit we inherited. When the Government came to power, the previous Government were borrowing £300,000 a minute. We have cut the deficit by 25%, which has brought confidence and jobs back to Britain.

As an English and a Yorkshire MP I have a great interest in how the Heseltine review, “No Stone Unturned”, will help my region. Some of us in Yorkshire are very pleased with the report, because there is a glimmer of hope for more jobs and more investment in Yorkshire. What will the Treasury do to follow up the report that it commissioned?

This Government rightly commissioned the report because we believe that Lord Heseltine has a lot of experience in that area. We will study it carefully and will respond in due course.

Does the Minister realise that unemployment in my constituency went down last month? Does he also realise that in the neighbouring constituency, Corby, the unemployment level fell by 5%? Does that not show that the Conservative-led Government is succeeding in Northamptonshire?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. In the first two years of this Government, the private sector created 1 million new jobs whereas in the last 10 years of the previous Government the sector created about half of that figure.

One way to tackle youth unemployment in Kettering and Northamptonshire and across the UK would be for the Government to commit now to repeating Labour’s tax on bank bonuses on top of the bank levy to fund much-needed new jobs for young people. Is the Minister aware that in some parts of Northamptonshire, such as Corby, the number of under-24s on the dole for more than 12 months has gone up by a shocking 233% in just the last year?

I am not surprised that the hon. Lady is talking about youth unemployment, because in the last 10 years of her Government it rocketed by 72% from 534,000 to 921,000. The previous Government created the problem and this Government’s policies are bringing the number down.