Stephen Timms MP, Labour’s Shadow Employment Minister, responding to Labour Market Statistics, said:
“Any increase in employment is to be welcomed, but the real story of the labour market is a living standards crisis with falling real wages, and millions working harder for less. David Cameron says he’s fixed the economy but for ordinary families things are getting harder not easier. Ministers just sound out of touch when they ignore the fact that the number of people who are working part-time because they cannot find a full-time job is at record levels.
“The Government’s welfare reform has comprehensively failed at a time when youth unemployment is edging towards a million, and long-term unemployment is at its highest level in 17 years. The Youth Contract is on course to miss its target by 92 per cent, and the flagship Work Programme has not hit a single one of its minimum performance standards.
“Ministers should be taking urgent action both to help middle and low income families and to bring down long-term unemployment with a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to get anyone unemployed for more than two years into a paying job – one they would be required to take. Instead the Government are giving a tax cut to millionaires, with unusually high bonus payments as they cash in."