In these times of continued global economic uncertainty it is most encouraging to know that even more people in Leicester and Leicestershire have the security of a job and an ever-increasing rate of pay. Figures released by the Office of National Statistics this past week show that both unemployment and youth unemployment numbers are falling and with a record number of people in work and staying in work, this is news to be welcomed, regardless of political affiliations.
In my own constituency of South Leicestershire, there has been an 18% drop in the number of those claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance compared with this time last year. These reductions I’m pleased to say, have also been seen across the wider Leicestershire and Leicester areas; news that I am sure all of my local MP colleagues from both the County and City will join me in welcoming.
Also, workless households are at their lowest rate ever; the government’s economic and welfare reforms are delivering more financial security and crucially, providing more opportunities that give hard working families the very best chance in life.
Further to this, the news that there have been six jobs created in the private sector for every one job lost in the public sector is again a brilliant example of the business led recovery and getting our nation back on track. As a Conservative MP, I believe we should focus on providing the right environment for industry and employment to flourish. With an extra 45,000 job vacancies nationally than this time last year, it is clear the Government’s long term economic plan is working well and crucially working in favour for those in Leicester and Leicestershire.
The introduction of the National Living Wage in April this year is also a huge step-up for hard working people. It has significant benefits for employees by ensuring they are being paid a fair and substantial wage, while it also means that Britain will move into being a higher wage, lower welfare and lower tax society.
This coupled with the Government’s commitment to the regional infrastructure project, the hugely promising ‘Midlands Engine’, will mean that in the coming months and years, our Region will be moving into a higher gear and driving us to a more prosperous and more secure future.