Friday, June 1, 2012

Well they all do it

I remember back in the days of Thatcher how the Labour party used to bleat on about how a differing method of counting the jobless was being used to hide the actual figures. I believe that promises were made to go back to the 'old' system as and when Labour got into power. They never did of course, bit too inconvenient for them, though their faux outrage at meddling with the jobless totals has never stopped them fiddling the figures themselves.
LABOUR kept tens of thousands of jobless young people out of official unemployment statistics before the 2010 election to conceal soaring levels of welfare dependency, it was claimed yesterday.
New figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions show that under Labour around 50,000 unemployed people aged under 24 were given a “training allowance” or paid from a “Future Jobs Fund” rather than Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Ministers yesterday said that once the Labour “gerrymandering” is discounted, the number of unemployment young adults has fallen by 5,000 since the Coalition came to power two years ago.
The Whitehall figures were released as ministers hit back at Labour claims that the Coalition will spend £9.1billion more on welfare than expected in this Parliament because of its failure to get people off benefits.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith rejected the figures and said welfare spending was so high due to Labour’s failed policies.
He said: “Labour gerrymandered unemployment figures for years to conceal the fact they have let down generations of young British people. They found it easier to park young people on spurious schemes than deal with the root causes of their unemployment.
I remember those schemes, my stepson ended up on one, he rather enjoyed it too, though sadly like most who ended up on one there was no permanent employment at the end of it. I thought at the time it was just a way to mask the unemployment figures, but I'm an old cynic anyway so would have thought that.
Seems Labour was pouring billions of taxpayers money into make work schemes to hide the unemployment totals, something that a lot of people suspected, though knowing how much on a national scale it was, was difficult to tell, just that everyone I knew who had a teenager who'd left school and hadn't made it to university, said teenager was usually unemployed.
Did my stepson learn some useful skills? Well yes, he did, he also demonstrated that he was reliable by turning up every day, on time and worked hard at the tasks he was set. Did it do him any good? Only in the abstract, certainly didn't help him find another job immediately. Though he is now in full time employment, granted it's McDonald's, but at least it's work and he knows he can do well there if he applies himself.
Still, you have to wonder if the money spent on hiding the unemployment might have been better spent creating real jobs by reducing the tax burden on industry.
But sadly that's not how politicians think, they only see as far as the next election.

1 annotations:

Mike Spilligan said...

"...they only see as far as the next election." But now we have fixed-term parliaments, the last two years of the five are going to be electioneering anyway.