Jim Murphy: Get to work on helping jobless
THIS is my first column for The Glaswegian. When I agreed to do it a few weeks ago, I wondered what to write about. But the topic picks itself - the massive rise in unemployment.
Figures show unemployment in Scotland has risen to 215,000.
Scottish long-term youth unemployment is 11,150.
Behind every statistic is a person suffering the indignity of unemployment.
And behind every figure is a family coping with losing their income.
There is a generation who are being left on the shelf by a Tory Government cutting too fast and an SNP government whose economic policy isn't working.
The SNP's priority is their obsession about the constitution, not the public's worry about jobs.
The UK Government needs to start taking responsibility for their actions. First, they blamed Labour, then the snow, then the eurozone. Now, they're looking to blame public sector workers.
In truth, their decisions kick away the ladders of opportunity for so many of our young people.
They banked on the private sector filling the gap left by public sector cuts, but that has failed to materialise.
Measures in the Chancellor's autumn statement are too little too late.
We are consistently told that the measures being taken are necessary, but there is an alternative. Everyone agrees there needs to be limits on public expenditure to reduce the deficit.But this must be done in a way that protects communities and businesses and stimulates growth.
A flatlining economy and rising unemployment means the benefits bill will be higher and tax revenues lower. That doesn't make economic sense.
We should invest to get people into work with Labour's five-point plan for jobs and growth - not waste money keeping people on the dole.
We know we need reform. We do not want a financial model that means taxpayers have to bail out the banks or pay the welfare costs of spiralling unemployment.
We want to create good jobs at good wages. We need a Scotland where people can fulfil their potential and where ambitions are met by opportunity.
For this to happen, we need the Tories in London and the Nats in Edinburgh to work a lot harder for all those Scots out of work.
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