26 April 2013
The latest "model-based" unemployment figures for Dundee , prepared by the Office of National Statistics, show that in the 12-month period January to December last year, the number of those unemployed in Dundee was 7,500
These are dismal figures for Dundee with the number of unemployed rising by 700 in the past year.
These are the highest numbers out of work in our city since 1996.
The city needs a change of UK national economic policy that will stop hurting Dundee’s economy and start helping it.
With just 689 registered vacancies in Dundee, the UK government needs to come up with a real plan that stimulates investment in businesses and growth, with job creation the top priority .
Yesterday , the announcement that the UK economy had grown by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of the year was treated with some mild optimism by the UK Government.
This was an exercise in news management because the alternative of the reality of a triple-dip recession had been floated beforehand.
In fact, this is not good news because the economy continues to flatline, and it shows that some three years after George Osborne chose to take the UK down the road of austerity, the policy has not just not worked.
It has been a demonstrable failure.
Other major problems for the Chancellor are that intellectual basis of the austerity doctrine was discredited this month by errors in a spreadsheet of mathematical data that supposedly underpinned the doctrine.
As well as that, the IMF , which initially backed austerity measures , has since told the Chancellor that his austerity policies are “ playing with fire” .
The government needs to return to tried and tested measures that have served the economy well in the past
The economy needs government investment in infrastructure – traditional sectors and nowadays alternative energy projects as well.
Publicly- sponsored projects such as these will benefit the private sector , put people back into work , where they begin to pay taxes again and so begin to drive down the deficit.
Unless the government’s policies are reversed, then the misery of declining living standards and the fear of unemployment will continue to cast their shadow over our city.
Narrowly missing a triple-dip recession is not an opportunity for an expression of relief.
It is an admission of the continuing failure of the UK Government’s economic policy.