Jobless youth figures soar

Lindsay Roy MP
Lindsay Roy MP
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LONG-term youth unemployment across parts of Levenmouth has soared by more than a massive 900 per cent in a year.

The figures, which relate to the Glenrothes and Central Fife Westminster constituency, have angered the area’s MP, Lindsay Roy, who has warned that drastic action is needed immediately to halt the staggering rise.

Labour MP Mr Roy claimed there is now a “grave danger” of the area suffering a whole generation of out of work youngsters, and said both the UK and the Scottish Governments must act to stop any further rise.

“These youngsters are supposed to be the workforce of the future, but how are they to find jobs if they cannot get the experience they need now?” he told the Mail.

Official figures, released recently, reveal the number of people aged between 18 and 24 claiming job seekers’ allowance for 12 months or more leapt from just 15 in April 2011 to 155 last month, equating to a rise of 933 per cent.

That’s by far the biggest increase across any part of the Kingdom.

The North East Fife parliament seat saw a rise of 30 to 35; Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath jumped from 30 to 145; and Dunfermline and West Fife went up from 35 to 120.

The overall picture for Scotland shows the the long-term unemployment figure for 18-24 year olds soared from 1510 to 5630, a rise of 4120, or 273 per cent, over the 12 months.

Mr Roy continued: “My constituency has gone from being one of the best, in terms of the number of young people in Fife without a job for more than a year to the worst, and that’s a very unhappy situation.

“Clearly, the policies of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition at Westminster and the SNP administration at Holyrood aren’t working – the figures don’t lie.”

The MP claimed the Labour party’s five-point plan for jobs and growth, including a £2 billion tax on bank bonuses to fund a real jobs guarantee; bringing forward long-term investment projects, reversing the rise in VAT; cutting VAT on home improvements to five per cent for a year; and a one-year National Insurance tax break for small firms taking on extra workers, was the best way of addressing the problem.

“Drastic action is needed now and the sooner these properly thought-out measures which are aimed at putting Britain back on its feet are implemented, the better it will be for our young people,” he added.