Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to today’s Labour Market Statistics, said:
“Today’s headline fall in unemployment will be welcome news for thousands of striving families really feeling the pinch this Christmas.
“But today’s news brought fresh evidence that we are absolutely not out of the woods. Unbelievably, unemployment actually rose across a third of England, job growth has slowed to the slowest pace we’ve seen since January and pay packets are taking an absolute hammering. Last month prices rose at twice the rate of wages.
“Worst of all, while working families are doing anything and everything to bring in work, the DWP appears to be doing absolutely nothing. Long term unemployment is refusing to budge as the Government’s beleaguered Work Programme fails to make a blind bit of difference.
“What today’s figures really show is that Britain’s strivers are under more pressure now than ever, which is why it is absolutely wrong to be taking another whack out of families' tax credits with the proposed strivers tax.”