Liam Byrne MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to the Government’s announcement on youth unemployment, said:
“We now have the highest level of youth unemployment the UK has seen in modern times. Even Iain Duncan Smith has been forced to admit it is a scandal.
“To propose now a plan that costs less than his department spends on phones and stamps, a whole year after taking office, is frankly too little and too late.
“When Labour left office, youth unemployment had been falling for 6 months even during months of recession. Now, 17 months after the recession ended all that progress has been wiped out.”
“Labour has instead called for the Government's Work Programme – which the influential DWP Select Committee this week said could be as much as a third smaller than the programmes Labour had in place - to focus first on getting young people into work.”