It is good news that job prospects for thousands of young people in the Hartlepool area are to receive a boost. (Hartlepool Mail May 23)
The Youth Employment Initiative in intended to help 6,500 young people get into employment, education or training and that must be welcomed.
But let no one be fooled. The £19.25m money for the scheme is described as “European Union” funding. That is not some benevolent generosity by Brussels. That’s just them giving us back a fraction of the money we give them every day.
If we weren’t dutifully handing over £350m a week to the EU for them to give some back – always complete with strings – we would have enough money to spend as we choose.
Education and job opportunities are vital for this region, which is particularly badly hit with unemployment, and away from the EU’s control we can spend our own money to help our own people.
One of the reasons for the tragic demise of the steel industry in the North East was EU anti-competition rules. Without that much more could have been done to have saved those jobs.
Jonathan Arnott MEP