Unemployment (East Lothian)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 18th March 2009.

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Photo of Ann McKechin Ann McKechin The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 11:30 am, 18th March 2009

My hon. Friend has raised an important point to which the Secretary of State has already referred this morning: the need for banks to start lending in order to enable businesses to survive and to invest. We have introduced the necessary measures to make that possible. I am sure that she welcomed the recent announcement by the Royal Bank of Scotland of the provision of additional funds focused particularly on small and medium-sized enterprises, many of which are based in her constituency.

It is important to note that the United Kingdom still has the second lowest unemployment in the G7 area, but we are not complacent. That is why, from April, we will be providing additional help for those who are unemployed for more than six months, in the form of a £1,000 recruitment subsidy. [Interruption.]

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