Sunday, 14 November 2010

Seven job seekers chasing every job in Wrexham

'Tories treat jobless like criminals'

There are seven job seekers chasing every job in Wrexham and Clwyd South, according to official statistics.

The latest government statistics show that there are 432 vacancies while there are 1,920 seeking work in Wxm constituency. Clwyd South is far worse - just 83 vacancies and 1,840 job seekers.

In total that's 3,760 people chasing just 515 jobs - there are more than seven people chasing each job.

Plaid Cymru's Assembly candidate Marc Jones said the statistics made nonsense of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition's plans to treat the jobless like criminals by making them sweep the streets or paint walls in the community for 30 hours a week. He said:
"We currently force offenders to take part in community payback schemes. What the coalition government is trying to do now is treat the jobless in the same way by making them do unpaid voluntary work such as road sweeping.

"There are many people on the dole through no fault of their own due to the massive job losses locally in the past couple of years. The situation is likely to get worse before it gets better if the public sector cuts take place. Yet these people are being targetted and punished in the same was as criminals."

He denounced the scheme as a gimmick, designed to appeal to the Daily Mail's right-wing agenda, rather than a serious attempt to address the unemployment problem. Mr Jones said:
"There may be a small minority abusing the system but that should not mean criminalising 4,000 people locally. There are many more people who may be facing an unwelcome period on the dole in the next couple of years and I don't think they will take kindly to being forced into unpaid work when they could be looking for an alternative job.

"I wonder how many streets there are to sweep in the area if the Tory-Lib Dem government is planning to give 4,000 a brush. The council already has street sweepers - is the Tory-Lib Dem coalition going to make them redundant so that we can have unpaid labour keeping our streets clean? The whole idea is a nonsense, a stunt that is trying to deflect attention from the brutal cuts the UK government is planning to make in places like Wales."

Plaid's Clwyd South Assembly candidate Mabon ap Gwynfor added:
"The loss of major employers such as Flexsys and AIr Products in Clwyd South has seen many people locally having to join the unemployment register. There are also many graduates leaving Glyndwr and other universities and unable to find work in these difficult times. Are we really saying that these people are best served by sweeping the streets?? The millionaires running the UK government have no concept of life on the dole and no idea about how to create the jobs we desperately need in this area."

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