The most recent unemployment figures show that Swale has the second highest youth unemployment rate in Kent as jobs remain scarce as the coalition Government’s deep cuts kill growth. Kent County Council says tackling youth unemployment is a priority, yet very little action has been taken to bring about the conditions and the investment in Kent required to create jobs. The Kent youth unemployment rate was 7.1% in May, far higher than the South East average, with Swale’s even higher.
In Swale at Full Council on Wednesday 18th of July, the Tory Council Leader, Andrew Bowles rattled off the usual Tory line about needing to reduce borrowing for the sake of our children and grandchildren. What Mr Bowles and the rest of his Conservative colleagues across the country are failing to grasp is that reducing borrowing in the medium and long term requires growth and jobs too. And what about the devastating effects of long term unemployment for young people – children and grandchildren – if a flat-lining economy continues.
The extremely high youth unemployment levels across the country are a huge cause for concern: we need jobs because this will reduce welfare payments and increase tax revenues. No real growth has been achieved under the Coalition’s policies and this has led to the Tory Chancellor actually having to borrow far MORE than planned. The IMF has warned that we need growth urgently, however, don’t expect the Tories and their Lib Dem colleagues to listen.
In Swale too, the Conservative Council’s poor regeneration progress is a huge hindrance and in Tory dominated County Hall we require more Labour representatives to make the case for real investment in the County to create jobs for young people to prevent them becoming the lost generation, to end the prolonged personal tragedy of unemployment and unleash the creativity and ambition that exists amongst young people which will drive Britain forward again.
by Ashley Wise (CLP Youth Officer)