Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

More General Election debate urged on jobs

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber urged more of a poll debate on jobs

Union leaders called for more debate about unemployment in the run up to polling day, expressing disappointment at how little it featured in the campaign so far.

The TUC said more money should be spent on jobcentres and on a scheme offering work to people unemployed for at least a year.

With new unemployment figures due out on Tuesday - the last before next month's election - the TUC said investing in jobs would result in higher tax receipts and lower benefit spending.

General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "Unemployment is lower in this recession than in previous ones, but that does not mean that it is no longer a problem, and it is disappointing how little it has featured in the election campaign.

"Of course the UK cannot keep a deficit of this size forever, but the sustainable way of reducing it is to encourage growth and get people back to work so they start paying taxes again and no longer have to claim the dole.

"Recent public investment has helped to keep unemployment down, but we are not out of the woods yet. The economy is still reliant on public investment. Cutting back now could plunge the economy back into recession and send unemployment soaring."

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