Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to today’s unemployment figures, said:
“We welcome any glimmer of good news but today’s figures are a sign we are not out the woods by a long stretch.
“The claimant count is up, vacancies are down and this is before the wave of public sector redundancies and school leavers come onto the books.
“A host of respected business organisations are warning that choppy waters are ahead. And this is why we are saying the Tory-led Government needs to do far more to get Britain back to work.
"Iain Duncan Smith himself has said youth unemployment is a scandal. The Prime Minister has said it’s a severe problem. Yet all the Government has proposed is a plan which costs less than the DWP spends on phones and stamps.
“Most right thinking people think the Government need to do more. Not least because failing to get Britain back to work fast enough is pushing up the welfare bill by 12.5 billion – that’s £500 per household. That is simply irresponsible economics.
“Getting people off benefits and into work paying taxes is vital to get the deficit down. The government are now having to borrow £46 billion more than planned. It's a vicious circle and makes no economic sense at all."