The claimant count in Halifax in December 2012 was 4,328. The UK has a lower rate of unemployment than either the US or the euro area and, as the Chancellor said earlier, we have created more than 1 million jobs in the private sector since 2010.
I thank the Minister for that reply, but in reality the Government’s record on unemployment in Halifax since 2010 is that the number out of work has risen from 7.3% to 9.2%. Halifax cannot sustain those levels of unemployment for much longer. Can the Minister understand how angry people are? What action is he taking on unemployment in Halifax?
Of course I recognise what the hon. Lady says and that unemployment is a concern right across our economy. Unemployment rates across the economy have been coming down. She refers to the experience in her constituency. Since 2008-09 the number of apprentices in Halifax doubled, so some of the measures that the Government are taking, such as the investment in apprenticeships and the Work programme, are making a difference to her constituents. The most important thing that we can do to continue to support unemployment moving in the right direction is to maintain the credible fiscal policy that this Government have put in place, and not give up on it, as the Opposition would.