Thursday, 3 December 2009

It's not just unemployment, child poverty's getting worse too

New figures published today show that unemployment and child poverty are both on the rise - as anyone watching the loal headlines would have already been able to tell!

This week alone we've learned of almost 1,000 job losses in Brighton - as Brighton Council, Sussex University, Threshers, Borders and Lloyds TSB have all announced redundancies.

And, surprise, surprise, an academic study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the New Policy Institute has just found that the number unemployed - or otherwise wanting work - is the highest for more than 20 years. 

The picture on child poverty - which affects about half of all children living here in Brighton Kemptown - is even worse.

According to the study, the number of children in low-income households stands at 2.1m, the highest its ever been - and that doesn't even include the children growing up in homes where all adults are unemployed.

I think this is an absolute disgrace - and it reminds me why it matters so much that we return some Green MPs to Westminster to try and stop the rot.

We need urgent action, starting with a guarantee that there will be no no redundancies in the public sector, a massive increase in public sector investment in green technologies - creating jobs not just happy bankers - no more welfare cuts for the most vulnerable, and an increase in support for education, training, play and children's services.

Yes, I know: that all sounds expensive... It's all about priorities after all - the Government could find the money in days to prop up the failing banking sector. To my mind, fair is worth fighting for - and creating jobs and ending child poverty is worth Government investment, even if that means Government borrowing rises a little, or those most able to afford it have to pay a little more tax...

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