Long-term Youth Unemployment: “There is an alternative”

The Jobs Guarantee would give 21 hours per week of work experience, paid at the London Living Wage for six months. This is one of the key measures in the London Assembly Labour Group’s amendment to the Mayor’s draft 2013-14 budget for London. The amendment and proposals focus on protecting frontline services, easing the cost of living crisis and helping young Londoners into work. 

The Mayor’s Draft Budget and the London Assembly Labour Group’s alternative proposals will be debated and voted on for a second and final time on Monday at City Hall.

In Westminster, the number of people under 24 out of work for more than a year is:

·         135 young people in January 2013

·         115 young people in January 2012

Labour London wide Assembly Member, Murad Qureshi AM said:”Boris may shrug his shoulders and say he is doing all he can, but he is signed up to the government’s reckless economic plans. All he has done is said the “˜rhetoric should be toned down’, but that cuts and austerity should continue. At a time when ordinary Londoners are struggling and the economy is flat-lining he must do more, there is an alternative.

"The Mayor needs to offer a solution for young Londoners who continue to be affected by this jobs crisis. I want to see him make a commitment to long-term adults to guarantee them a job if they’ve been out of work for more than 12 months.

“By offering a Jobs Guarantee the Mayor could help get 135 Londoners under 24 years into work in Westminster and 7,200 long-term unemployed young Londoners across the capital. ”

The key points of the Labour Group’s proposals are:

 Â·         A Jobs Guarantee for all 16-24 year olds who have been out of work for 1 year or more

·         Cut transport fares by 1% so they are in line with inflation

·         Re-allocate business rates to protect frontline police and fire services

·         Freeze the Mayor’s share of the Council Tax

·         Start the process of setting up a London-wide lettings agency

Ends

Notes

1.   Murad Qureshi is a London wide Assembly Member.

2.    The background note below provides more information on each proposal.

3.    Unemployment figures for January 2013 were released today and are available at www.nomisweb.co.uk

 For more information please contact Labour Group Press Officer Sophie Kimber on 020 7983 5639. Number not for publication.

Background

Jobs Guarantee

Working closely with appropriate employers the Jobs Guarantee would provide participants with 21 hours work per week paid at the London Living Wage. This proposal would see £35.6 million invested in 2013-14 to finance the scheme, including wages and employer’s NI contributions.

 The Jobs Guarantee will help prevent another “˜lost generation’ of unemployed young people, it will generate up to £27 million for HM Treasury through increased National Insurance payments, reducing the Job Seekers’ Allowance payments and through the VAT generated by the purchase of consumer goods by participants of the scheme.

 Protecting frontline Police services

Following central government’s 20% cut to the policing budget the frontline is now being hit. The Mayor has chosen not to allocate any more resources to the police, even though he has the ability to do so. He is planning to cut police numbers, cut front counters and decimate Safer Neighbourhood Teams. The budget amendment proposal is designed to cushion the impact of central government cuts.

The proposals would:

·         Recruit 1,159 PCSOs ““ both improving uniformed presence on our streets and creating a pool for future recruitment of police constables

·         Maintain the current level of front counter services across London

·         Recruit 250 new police officers for Safer Transport Teams

 Protecting frontline Fire services

Freezing the Mayoral precept will retain £9.4 million this year which will be used to keep all 12 fire stations and 18 fire appliances that are earmarked for the axe. This will maintain the current level of fire cover for London.

Reallocation of business rates

This proposal would allocate the recently-localised funds from Retained Business Rates in a way that protects the public services that Londoners depend upon and finances projects that help secure a sustainable economic, infrastructure, and environmental future for London.

 “˜Rogue’ landlords and lettings agencies

This proposal would invest in a GLA “˜know your rights’ website for tenants in collaboration with charities and think-tanks.  Secondly, proposes the financing of an action research project in to the establishment of a London-wide lettings agency. Thirdly, propose the commission of an extensive study into the feasibility of a London Living Rent.