Wednesday, March 18 2009
Theresa May has accused the Government of “sleepwalking through the unemployment crisis” after the number of people out of work rose to above 2 million.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that UK unemployment has increased to 2.03 million, the highest level since 1997 - and Theresa, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, stressed this was a "grim milestone" that no one wanted to reach.
She warned, "James Purnell and Labour are sleepwalking their way through this unemployment crisis casting people adrift as they continue to close job centres."
And she attacked Lord Mandelson's for denying that job centres are being shut down, despite the Government admitting on Monday that they are pressing ahead with more closures:
"At best he doesn’t know what’s going on; at worst he is trying to dupe the public."
Theresa blamed Gordon Brown’s "negligent and complacent attitude" over the past decade for the huge skills gap in the economy - and said:
"It is extremely worrying that people don’t have the necessary skills to fill the current vacancies in the economy. Labour needs to wake up and allow people claiming jobseekers allowance to retrain immediately, instead of having to wait 18 months.”
Promoted by Alan Mabbutt on behalf of the Conservative Party, both at 30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DP