HOSIE COMMENTS ON RISING UNEMPLOYMENT
Commenting on labour market statistics published today (Wednesday) which show that unemployment has reached almost two million across the UK, SNP Treasury Spokesperson, Stewart Hosie MP, said:
“The jump in the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance, and the record number of redundancies, as firms fold or cut jobs, is a grim measure of this deepening recession.
“The bad news just seems to keep coming, and these appalling labour market figures underline Gordon Brown’s failure to get a grip on the economic crisis.
“The banks seem hamstrung – told by the UK Government to strengthen their balance sheets whilst increasing lending. These were contradictory demands which saw the Government were forced into a humiliating u-turn on their own terms this week. Only now are we seeing real steps to get credit moving.
“The chaos over the stamp duty holiday put the housing market in deep freeze for a month and it has barely recovered.
“Gordon Brown assured the country that borrowing levels would remain at 2007 levels. Today we find mortgage lending has fallen by 30% to a six year low.
“Even their attempts to stimulate the economy were half baked – the VAT cut will be half as effective at preserving jobs and boosting the economy as a capital investment programme of the same value.
“Throughout this whole episode Labour have played politics citing the difficulties faced by Iceland to evidence the need for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom. This week, we learn unemployment in the UK is forecast to rise much more steeply than Iceland. If Iceland, according to Labour, is an example of bad government then heaven knows what that says about the performance of Gordon Brown.”