As we are meant to be recovering from recession we are witness to highest unemployment rate for around 16years.  There are now an amazing 2.5 million out of work. One out of every 5 one of us falls into the ‘economically inactive’ category. Although this does not mean unemployed alone. This includes students and those of us who have taken it upon ourselves to look after a member of family or close friend who is too ill to do so themselves. Then who wouldn’t with a decline in NHS standards? We have not witnessed rates of unemployment this high since 1994 according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the amount of long term unemployed in the country has soared from 89,000 to a whopping 726,000. We have not seen numbers this high since Tony Blair became prime minister.  The total amount of economically inactive people in Britain now stands at 8.16 million.

Gordon Brown is telling us that he plans to grow the economy, one wonders how this is possible with so many of us unemployed and whether this is due to not finding a suitable job or if in fact the jobs are not actually there to be found. Either way, there are many issues we must address to stabilise the economy before we can go ahead with plans of growth. However, even with the rise we have experienced we have seen a decline in those claiming jobseekers benefits. The current figures now tell us that 32,900 of us have stopped claiming dropping the total sum of those on the dole to 1.54 million. Then if these former jobseeker claimants are now claiming long term benefits such as income support then it places a bigger drain to the economy.

David Cameron proposes to cut crime numbers by tackling the problem of drug addiction, which leads to criminal activity as the addicts try to support their habits. This will also benefit the country as many of those on long term benefits are those addicted to drugs. As physically addictive drugs such as heroin lead to illness and the inefficiency of immune system and other bodily functions, this means once those addicted have taken the option of claiming incapacity benefit, they are unlikely to be able to stop their habit and continue their decline in health. This means a downward spiral and yet another one of us unable to contribute to the recovery from recession. If the problem was to be tackled before they get to the point where they are unable to work then this would greatly benefit the economy. In proposing this Cameron is killing two birds with one stone as opposed to the other approaches we see from Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown. Putting more money into sectors that are not performing to the best of their abilities is in the long run squeezing blood from the stone of the British economy.


New schemes to introduce young people and others to the world of work via training programs can help this problem. As it is, those who have nothing to do that get used to doing so and slowly start to get more and more opposed to earning their own money. This will also be helped with Cameron’s idea for national service. If we are to introduce young people as early as possible to the working world, there is a greater chance they will see the benefits of working, not the benefits of a life living off the state, which are in fact far from being benefits in my eyes. The Prince’s Trust is also helping towards the current problem with unemployment. The Prince’s Trust have joined forces with Microsoft to offer around 700 young people 12 week courses which will see 16-25 year olds gain skills which will greatly aid them in their search for work. This however, is merely the first wave. Over 3 years the project hopes to help around 8,000 people gain extra skills and the ability to work with computers successfully making them better candidates for jobs. Around 8 out of ten jobs now require computer skills, or at least basic knowledge of e-mail and programs such as MS Office, and who better to teach these skills than those who make the programs. Even if the trainee wishes to obtain a job that requires manual labour alone with no need for computer skills, they will still have mastered the art of producing professional curriculum vitae, which is an asset to any job seeker. This may not solve the problem but it is a good start. Who knows what new projects will follow in the footsteps of the Prince’s Trust and National Service?

The current labour government is not showing enough interest in supporting the welfare system and should they come in to power again on May the 6th, they are proposing a jobs tax which will cause further damage to the British economy. Whereas a Conservative approach would see a slow but sure way of repairing the damage caused by recession. It is only possible to repair the whole economy by increasing each sector’s efficiency, this will be far easier to do by tackling the areas in which these sectors are failing and improving them. Throwing money at a failing sector is almost the same as taking painkillers, they may stop your stomach ache yet, unless the source of the pain is assessed and treated, you could be taking those painkillers forever.

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