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Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 24th October 2011.

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Photo of Fiona O'Donnell Fiona O'Donnell Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 2:30 pm, 24th October 2011

The Secretary of State seemed surprised that we do not share his love of statistics. I wonder whether it was he who briefed the Prime Minister last week, leading to the Prime Minister claiming at Prime Minister’s questions

“that 500,000 people have jobs who did not have one at the time of the election.”—[Hansard, 19 October 2011; Vol. 533, c. 893.]

The Prime Minister was not at his most eloquent last week. However, according to official figures, between April to June 2010 and the most recent figures—June to August 2011—employment is up by just 87,000. We do not like the Secretary of State’s statistics when they are wrong. Does this not prove that the Government do not have a plan for tackling unemployment?