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Wheale and Griffiths in youth dole queues fight

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 28, 2013

  • Tory Party Chairman - Grant Shapps visiting the Burton Mail MP Andrew Griffiths

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THE man hoping to become Burton’s next Labour MP has accused the Government of ‘leaving young people behind’ after figures revealed a rise in year-on-year long-term youth unemployment.

Jon Wheale (top left) attacked the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition after official statistics showed there were 70 people aged between 18 and 24 in the Burton constituency who had been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for more than a year, as of last month. This was up from 15 in December 2011 — a 367 per cent year-on-year increase.

South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire also saw increases during the same period, from 25 to 80 and 50 to 95 respectively.

Mr Wheale said: “An increase of long-term youth unemployment of 367 per cent is shocking and completely unacceptable.

“I am very concerned that some adults and many young people are being left behind as a result of the failing economic policies of a failing Tory-led government.”

Mr Wheale said this rise was ‘nothing to celebrate’ and ‘simply unacceptable’.

But Andrew Griffiths (bottom left), Burton’s current Conservative MP, hit back by saying that the overall JSA claimant count in the town had fallen for the past nine consecutive months. Mr Griffiths said his Labour opponent was ‘desperate’ to find bad news.

The MP said: “The Labour Party conveniently forgets that not only are there 500 fewer people unemployed in Burton than when we inherited the disaster from the previous Labour government, youth unemployment is continuing to fall.

“Mr Wheale has overlooked the fact that while long-term unemployment has increased by just 55, short-term youth unemployment is down.

“The Government has invested £1 billion in the youth contract to tackle youth unemployment and has created more than 900 apprenticeships last year in Burton alone.”

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  • Burton Mail  |  January 29 2013, 1:29PM

    The only reason JSA claims are down is because the govt are making it harder for people to claim it. Long term unemployment up short-term employment down. This is a direct result of cheap "apprentice" labour being used by companies. Mr Griffiths should be doing something real to address the problem.

  • Burton Mail  |  January 29 2013, 6:43AM

    Perhaps Mr Wheale should think about the other age groups who are out of work ! Most of these have worked in the past, and paid national insurance, only to find that they have their benefits ONLY based on their last two years contributions !! Talk about the Great NI Rip Off.

  • Burton Mail  |  January 28 2013, 7:53PM

    Realistically you wouldn't have thought there would be any unemployment in Burton, after all people have managed to travel from as far a field as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Iraq and Afghanistan to work here so how come it's such a struggle for some to manage from Stretton, Shobnall, Winshill etc?