HC Deb 15 March 1994 vol 239 c739
13. Mr. Janner

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current level of youth unemployment in the city of Leicester; and what it was in March 1979.

Miss Widdecombe

In the Leicester local authority district, unadjusted claimant unemployment among 18 to 24-year-olds fell from 6,762 in October 1983, which is the earliest available date for such disaggregated figures, to 5,501 in January 1994.

Mr. Janner

Does the Minister know that since her Government took office the number of unemployed young people in the county of Leicestershire has nearly doubled? Does she accept the ultimate misery of youngsters who have no jobs, cannot get jobs and have no prospect of ever securing jobs?

Miss Widdecombe

What I accept is what must be the ultimate misery of the hon. and learned Gentleman's constituents in having a Member of Parliament who never brings them the good news and who never brings them hope. Why does not the hon. and learned Gentleman point out that unemployment in his region is down by 7 per cent? Why does not he point out that the number of young people waiting more than eight weeks for a guaranteed youth training place has fallen from 70 to three in one year? Why does he not welcome the fact that, in the context of the European Community, we have a lower-than-average youth unemployment rate? Why does not he welcome all this, and why do not his hon. Friends join in the welcome?