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[un-allotted half day] — Unemployment

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 2:36 pm on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2:36 pm, 14th December 2011

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We were promised that this was going to be the greenest Government ever, but a wide group of green and conservation organisations now say that the Government are comprehensively failing to meet that commitment. We all know that one of the key growth sectors for the future has to be low-carbon industries. The Government should therefore be doing more to get people into work in these sectors, not least by providing some regulatory certainty about the future.

Let me finish my point about the collapse in the rate of people flowing off benefits and into work. There is a very basic test. The Minister’s plan is not working unless it is getting more people off benefits and into work, unless the unemployment bill is coming down, and unless it is really making a difference—and right now, he is failing on every single count.