A LEADING Liberal Democrat in Blaydon constituency is calling on the Government to boost job opportunities in the area after figures showed a worrying rise in the numbe r of jobless people in Gateshead.
Neil Bradbury is battling Labour’s David Anderson at the general election to be MP for Blaydon.
He said that the rise of 2,400 people without a job and on jobseekers allowance in Gateshead over the past year shows the Government’s decision to cut VAT has not saved jobs and businesses.
6,078 people in Gateshead were on Jobseekers Allowance in March, up from 3640 in March 2008.
“6,000 people on Jobseekers Allowance is not the full picture as many unemployed people are not on this allowance,” said Neil.
“What is clear though is that the Government’s hopes of boosting the economy by cutting VAT are having no effect at all.
“The cut should be scrapped and the money put instead into real jobs. Liberal Democrats are calling for the money to be used to insulate people’s homes. This will create jobs in manufacturing and renovation.
“But it will also help people struggling with higher fuel bills this coming winter.”