HC Deb 18 March 1999 vol 327 c1248
7. Mr. Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham)

How much has been spent on the new deal in West Sussex to date. [75581]

The Minister for Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities (Mr. Andrew Smith)

To the end of January £206,538 had been brought to account in the West Sussex coastal plain unit of delivery on the new deals for young people and those over 25.

Mr. Loughton

I am grateful for that answer, but is the Minister aware that Employment Service figures show that, in the West Sussex coastal plain unit of delivery, only 68 new-dealers have secured unsubsidised employment? I am sure that the Minister's maths are better than mine, but does he think that that represents good value for money?

Given the announcement yesterday that my local electricity company has created 500 new real jobs in my constituency alone, will he admit that the windfall tax raid to create jobs might have been better deployed if the money had been left with the utility companies?

Mr. Smith

Not at all, not least because those 68 people who have got the unsubsidised jobs might well not have done so without the new deal programme and the windfall levy. What the hon. Gentleman does not mention—I am surprised that he does not pay tribute to the achievement of his constituents in this respect—are the other 51 people who have got subsidised jobs through the new deal for young people. Is the hon. Gentleman not including them in his figures? They are in employment; they are in work, earning money. They would have been on the dole under the Government whom he supported.