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When listening to Stephen Williams, I was reminded of the rather depressing speeches and interventions from some of his Tory colleagues in our previous debates on youth unemployment and the bank bonus tax, who showed very clearly that they do not live in the real world. They have no idea of the impact on young people of the chronic levels of unemployment they now face or the depressing reality that this is a repeat of what happened under the Tories in the ’80s and ’90s.
The shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury mentioned Bob Diamond’s £100 million in bonuses, which, under the real jobs guarantee scheme, would create 25,000 jobs for young people. I wonder whether Government Members consider that a better use of £100 million in bankers’ bonuses, because I certainly do.
We have already seen new schemes from the Government which are depressingly familiar; they remind me of the youth opportunities programme and its successor, the youth training scheme, in the early ’80s, and of how benefits were withdrawn from young people during those years when there were no jobs. There are no jobs for young people in my constituency or in many parts of the country.