Smith welcomes Labour’s Jobs Guarantee

*Uploaded 07/01/12*

Welcoming Labour’s Jobs Guarantee for the long-term unemployed, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Owen Smith MP, said:

“Long-term unemployment has a scarring impact on individuals, families and communities and, in Wales, because of the Tory-led Government’s failure to get the economy moving, the number of people who have been out of work for a sustained period has risen by two thirds in the last 12 months.

“There are now more than 20,000 Welsh people who have been unemployed for more than a year. Helping them back into work needs to be an urgent and utmost priority but the Tories, and, in particular, the Government’s Work Programme, are comprehensively failing to tackle this problem.

“Instead, George Osborne prefers to play divide-and-rule politics with welfare by attempting to portray those who receive tax credits or benefits as ‘scroungers’, something that has completely backfired after it emerged that over two-thirds of the people who will be hit by his real-term cuts are currently in work.

“Unlike the Tories, Labour is taking a One Nation approach to welfare reform and the Jobs Guarantee we announced last week will ensure there is a job for every adult who is long-term unemployed. It will be funded by ending pension tax relief given to the very rich – something that is only right when times are tough – and, over the course of a year, the scheme will help 263,000 people across the UK back into work.”