Monday News Review

Leaders clash over youth jobs

David Cameron has betrayed a generation of young people by denying them help to get a job, Labour leader EdMiliband will say today. The Prime Minister has summoned businesses chiefs to talks today on boosting employment. But Mr Miliband accused the him of ignoring the problem of youth joblessness, which is at its highest level for a quarter of a century. In March the Tory-led Government will end the Future Jobs Fund, which provides 100,000 places for under 25s, but the “work programme” which replaces it will not start until June. Speaking at a press conference in London, Mr Miliband will warn that Mr Cameron is repeating Margaret Thatcher’s mistakes, which led to the creation of a “lost generation” in the 1980s. Mr Miliband will say: “The first thing Mr Cameron should be addressing at his meeting today is the risk of a lost generation of young people in this country. “There will be a looming gap in the help given to unemployed young people. “This decision to betray young people is not just unfair it is the wrong long-term economic judgement.” – The Mirror

The key political battleground of employment will flare up today as David Cameron meets 20 leading multinational companies which have pledged to create jobs in Britain, and Labour mounts a campaign attacking the Coalition on youth unemployment. Ed Miliband is warning that thousands of young people face a “looming gap” when they look for help to find work because of the Coalition’s plans to scrap the Future Jobs Fund.But Mr Cameron counters that 300,000 private-sector jobs have been created in the past six months and he has plans to unveil more job pledges today. He hopes that by enlisting the support of large companies, such as McDonald’s, Shell and Toyota, the Government will appear pro-active in delivering jobs. The Prime Minister also gave warning yesterday that trade unions that strike over public-sector job cuts would find they would not be able to “push anyone around”. Speaking on the BBC, he said the Government was ready to talk about the impact of cuts but would not be forced into changing tack. “Striking is not going to achieve anything and the trade unions need to know they are not going to be able to push anyone around by holding this strike or that strike or even a whole lot of strikes together – they can forget it,” he said. – The Independent

Johnson jibes

Alan Johnson has been dogged by claims that he is not knowledgeable enough to be an effective opponent to George Osborne in times of economic hardship.His latest slip was seized upon by both Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats as an example of his lightweight ability. Mr Johnson appeared on Sky News on Sunday to criticise the Coalition Government’s announcement that VAT will rise to 20 per cent, a move he described as “fiscal fundamentalism”. Labour wants to increase national insurance as a way of tackling the deficit. Accused of being an economic “novice”, Mr Johnson said: “The accusation of economic novice is that when you take over a new job, you have to ensure that you bone up on these things.” A few seconds later, presenter Dermot Murnaghan asked the shadow minister to give the current rate of employers’ national insurance contributions. Mr Johnson tried to avoid the question before he said it would increase by one per cent, rising from 20 per cent to 21 per cent. Mr Murnaghan interrupted, to say: “Sorry, National Insurance, employers’ secondary class one-rate for employers, stands at the moment at …?” There was an awkward pause where Mr Johnson appeared unable to answer before the presenter came to his rescue, telling him the figure of 12.8 per cent. Mr Murnaghan went on: “Right, OK, I helped you out there. Just out of interest, there is still a lot to learn for you in terms of the job.” – The Telegraph

The Shadow Chancellor, whose shaky grasp of economics has alarmed some senior colleagues in recent weeks, was unable to state the current rate of national insurance – despite wanting to raise it. The error is all the more embarrassing because national insurance is one of the few taxes that Labour admits to wanting to raise. Mr Johnson was a surprise choice to be Shadow Chancellor. Many observers believe he was chosen in part to keep Ed Miliband’s former leadership rival Ed Balls out of the key economic role. But a string of gaffes has led to mounting concerns about whether Mr Johnson is up to the job of convincing the public that Labour has a credible economic alternative. Firstly he wrongly suggested that the Government’s VAT rise would hit family food bills.  And last week he got into a tangle over when Labour would clear the budget deficit, initially saying the target was 2015, before saying he ‘probably’ meant 2016. He also appeared confused about when Labour’s planned cuts would have kicked in. Some senior Labour figures are urging Mr Miliband to ‘read the riot act’ to his Shadow Chancellor, who has openly defied him over issues like the 50p tax rate and university tuition fees. Labour sources today insisted Mr Miliband was content with his overall performance. Meanwhile, Mr Miliband was reported to be having difficulties in his own attempt to recruit a Blairite chief of staff. Former Pensions Secretary James Purnell is said to have turned down the job last week, while the former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer is also said to have rejected approaches. – Daily Mail

Watkins set for consolation Peerage

The Lib Dem leader has seen his party’s support evaporate in the nine months since joining the Tory-led coalition. There are even claims their candidate, Elwyn Watkins, is being lined up for a peerage as compensation. A Lib Dem source said: “If Elwyn loses it will be Clegg’s fault for being so hated. The least he can do is give him an ermine parachute.” Mr Watkins was ridiculed on the hustings yesterday after claiming the Lib Dems were “still the only party against tuition fees”. Latest opinion polls put the Lib Dems on around 27%, with Labour 44% and the Tories trailing on 18%. But Labour’s Sadiq Khan warned against complacency and predicted the vote could be close. – The Mirror

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2 Responses to “Monday News Review”

  1. Robert says:

    The real problem is no real jobs for the young, in fact it’s getting harder to find a job for anyone.

    Labour Youth jobs program was not real jobs, it was a cheap way of getting work, and at the end of it your out of work again. Sending kids to McDonald’s is not the way to go is it.

    I’m sorry but as jobs are now mainly in retail and this to me has been the new manufacturing jobs, made up. I know I’m disabled and the jobs I’ve been sent to makes me smile, in a wheelchair six months ago i was sent for a job brick laying, plastering, and working cleaning windows \ll from a wheelchair.

    We have no jobs.

  2. derek barker says:

    “commons clash”

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