That was indeed a very disappointing answer to my hon. Friend, particularly considering today’s rise in unemployment in Scotland.
I want to highlight one other group of workers who have been particularly badly hit. The over-50s are now losing jobs at a faster pace. The number of people in that group in Britain who have been unemployed for more than a year has risen by about 25% this year. Such workers often fear that they will not get back into work again and that they will be thrown on to some kind of silver scrap heap. The picture of the country that emerged this morning is terrible: long-term unemployment among the over-50s is up by 21% and in seven regions—Wales, the north-east, the east midlands, London, the north-west, the south-west and the west midlands—it is even higher. More than 50 Members of this House now represent constituencies where the rise in long-term unemployment among the over-50s is more than 50%. That is surely unacceptable and it surely demands a response from the Government.