PM ‘not in touch with reality’ claim

PM David Cameron and Hartlepool MP Iain Wright
PM David Cameron and Hartlepool MP Iain Wright

AN MP claims the Prime Minister is out of touch with reality after he said youth unemployment has fallen since he came into power.

Town Labour MP Iain Wright asked David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Questions how much the rise in youth unemployment since May 2010 is due to his Government.

But the Conservative leader told the House of Commons that the previous Government excluded those on youth training schemes from their jobless figures, adding: “We measure things accurately.

“If you compare like for like, youth unemployment has fallen since the last election.”

Mr Wright said the Prime Minister had “side-stepped” his question and was not doing enough for the North-East.

He later told the Hartlepool Mail: “He has gone off on a very curious tack, trying to blame changes in statistics for the large leap in unemployment.

“I’m sorry but anyone in touch with reality and who speaks to businesses knows that is not the case. He is out of touch with reality.

“I think the Government does not recognise the huge potential of the North-East. It’s not putting in the measures that are needed to stimulate the region’s economy.”

The latest unemployment figures for Hartlepool show there were 4,267 people claiming jobseekers’ allowance in the town last month.

There were 3,791 in May 2010.

Mr Wright claims the rise in people out of work shows that not enough is being done to get the country out of recession.

He said recent international summits have seen world leaders talk more about growth and job creation than austerity measures and cutbacks.

He added: “There’s a general sense across Europe now that deficit reduction is all very well and good but you can’t have it without economic growth.

“The Government is paying out more in benefits because of unemployment, it is not getting the taxes it should because of consumer concerns.

“The Chancellor has said he needs to borrow £150bn more. How is that reducing the debt?”

And Mr Wright said he has spoken to many Hartlepool residents who are “nervous” about their futures.

He said: “I talk to many people who are worried that if they haven’t lost their job already, they are about to.

“There is a general feeling that things are going to get worse. There needs to be something to get people thinking more positively.”

l The MP Writes: Page 31