Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP for the North East of England, has reacted to today’s disappointing news that unemployment has risen to 8.1%. The figures show an increase of 7,000 to 103,000 – leaving the region still having the highest unemployment in the country.
Jonathan Arnott said “The North East has consistently had the country’s highest levels of unemployment since 2007 and in that time, under both Labour and the Conservatives, the gap between us and the rest of the country has grown. The lack of investment in our transport infrastructure is a massive blow to business, and Osborne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ falls massively below what we need to solve the problem.
”This puts the Tories’ plan for a £9/hour minimum wage into stark contrast: rather than doing what is needed to help struggling families (a substantial rise in the tax threshold) they’re expecting business to shoulder the cost whilst making cuts elsewhere to take money away from people.
“The Conservatives’ strategy will hit this region harder than any other; they have no credible plan to improve the situation but they are taking a huge risk of making it worse. We need proper investment in this region, now.”