Unemployment — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:36 pm on 20th October 2009.

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Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government), Department for Communities and Local Government, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government), Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (also in Department for Work and Pensions), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions) (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government) 2:36 pm, 20th October 2009

Well, my Lords, the noble Lord asks "is it enough?". It is certainly a good deal more than the noble Lord's party would do, because it is predicated on investment by government. Because the noble Lord's party is on record as opposing the fiscal stimulus, it would not be able to do what we are doing. The Government are supporting and investing in a range of programmes, including the young person's guarantee. It is right, of course, that unemployment continues to rise, and with it youth unemployment, but there are signs that it is easing. We should not forget the fact that young people tend to come off jobseeker's allowance faster than other people. In terms of NEETs, there are now more young people in employment and education than there were in 1997, and the number of 16 and 17 year-olds in the NEET category has declined for three years in a row.