HC Deb 18 May 1976 vol 911 cc1199-200
9. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how the rate of over 11 per cent. unemployment in Clacton-on-Sea compares with other seaside towns in England and Wales.

Mr. Golding

At April 1976, 15 employment areas with coastlines had rates above that in Clacton-on-Sea, two had the same rate, others had lower rates.

Mr. Ridsdale

Is the Minister aware that a great number of the people concerned are late in their working lives and have been unemployed for some time? Would it not be better and cheaper to allow them to retire early? What study has been made of that?

Mr. Golding

It is true that one third of those unemployed are aged between 60 and 65. The hon. Member's suggestion, however, raises wide implications for employment policy which go beyond this particular Question.

Mr. Costain

The obvious answer in these coastal towns is to encourage tourism. Why cannot the Minister arrange for special priority to be given to tourist areas, so that people will spend their holidays in this country and provide work for these unemployed?

Mr. Golding

One of the problems of Clacton is that the seasonal unemployment there is very much higher than in some other resort towns, and it would be worth examining why that situation exists.

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