MSP urges action after rise in jobless

Claire Bakers'MSP'Mid Scotland and Fife
Claire Bakers'MSP'Mid Scotland and Fife

MSP Claire Baker has called for action on unemployment after new figures revealed a dramatic rise in Job Seekers Allowance claimants.

The number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Fife rose from 10,762 on June 9, 2011, to 11,602 on July 14, 2011, a rise of 840.

The Labour member for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: “A further 840 people joined dole queues across Fife in just five weeks.

“Alex Salmond has no serious plan to get Fifers into work so I can only hope this sudden jump in unemployment will set alarm bells ringing at Bute House.

“The current strategy is simply not working. Fifers are stuck between a Tory economic policy actively causing unemployment, and an SNP approach which isn’t doing enough to stop it.

“Alex Salmond must stop passing the buck. His limp response so far is to call on the UK government to adopt a plan B.

“There is no doubt that George Osborne needs a plan B, but here in Fife we need a Plan A to kickstart growth and boost the local economy.

“It is not good enough for Salmond to simply shirk responsibility. The Scottish Government has the powers here to do something now.

“I’m calling on the Scottish Government to adopt Labour’s five-point plan: Extend the Future Jobs Fund to the private sector; bring back Project Scotland; create more apprenticeships; introduce Plus One – support for small businesses to take on extra employees; and introduce First Class – funding for vocational education in schools.

“The real lesson from these figures is that there must be action taken now, with no delay.”