Charlie Elphicke is MP for Dover and Deal.
Today saw the biggest fall in unemployment in history. Unemployment fell below 2 million. Under this Government we have seen nothing less than a jobs revolution. The rise in jobs and the fall in unemployment across the country shows the success of our welfare reforms and our long term economic plan.
All this is threatened by Labour’s plans to increase taxes, hike interest rates and harm jobs. Labour’s plans would leave people with less money and make it harder for people to get by. With storm clouds gathering once again over the Eurozone, this is not a risk Britain can take.
The great success in getting Britain working means there are more people with the security of a pay packet. More people able to provide for their families and plan for the future with confidence. This has been achieved because the Conservatives are the party of aspiration, opportunity and success. We believe that everyone should have a chance at life. Everyone should have the opportunity to be all they can be. To realise their full potential to be able to achieve, succeed and be supported in doing so. Barriers to success should be torn apart. Skills should be promoted, job promotion should be about what you know rather than who you know. Markets should be open and flexible for all. Dependency should be rejected while personal responsibility should be embraced. This is what opportunity politics it all about, and the Government’s jobs revolution shows how well it is working.
Our jobs revolution is in stark contrast to the Labour Party’s dismal record. In office, Labour abandoned people to the scrapheap of benefits and welfare dependency. Our welfare reforms are getting Britain working and giving people back their independence. With the roll out of Universal Credit work will not only always pay – more people will get into work and stay in work for longer.
Today there are near record levels of people in work. Nearly 31 million people are now employed and employment is up nearly 2 million since the election. Unemployment is now below 2 million with a record fall of 538,000 in the last 12 months. The claimant count is below 1 million and redundancies are lower than before Labour’s Crash.
Even better, full time jobs are up 592,000 on the year, while the quarter-of-a-million fall in youth unemployment over the past year is dramatic – now lower than before the recession. Record numbers of women are in work and jobs vacancies now stand at 674,000.
Compared with overseas, Britain is doing incredibly well. We have seen the largest increase in jobs and the biggest fall in unemployment in the G7. Britain has the fastest rise in women in work in the last year out of all G7 economies. We are continuing to make real progress despite the problems in the Eurozone.
Typically, the Labour Party want to focus on what bad news they can find. Yet in choosing to focus on wages, Labour simply remind everyone how their Great Recession made people worse off. It was the longest and deepest recession since the war. Labour made the country poorer, leaving people vulnerable and everyone financially less well off as a result. It’s important to remember that even before Labour’s Crash, wage rises were held back by Labour’s open door immigration policies. Labour’s open door immigration policies hit hardest the least well off, low skilled people and the young people of Britain.
Worse still, Labour have not learned their lesson. They crashed the car last time and it’s clear they’d do it all over again. In fact, the greatest risk to our cost of living and the recovery is the Labour Party. Labour plan to hike taxes and take more of our hard earned money. They plan more borrowing and more debt which will push up our mortgage payments. Their policies are anti-business and threaten our jobs. If implemented, Labour’s tax and interest rate bombshells would leave families short and make it harder for people to get by. That’s before you get to how their economic policies would also threaten jobs and our economic recovery.
As the election approaches, the choice is increasingly clear. The Conservative jobs story, welfare reforms and our long term economic plan. We have a clear direction and road map for recovery and economic success. We talk about the future we can make and a Britain that is strong in the World. Against this stand Labour’s backward looking politics of negativity and plans for a tax and interest rates bombshell that would leave us all worse off. Labour policies don’t just threaten the recovery, they threaten our jobs and money too. With the storm clouds gathering again over the Eurozone, real dangers lie ahead. It’s increasingly clear the Conservatives will take us forward, while Labour will take us back.