After a year of this Tory-led Government, the number of people unemployed in Leeds West has continued to rise -; since January there has been a 66% rise in long term youth unemployment.

This Government’s economic policies have resulted in the highest unemployment rate in 17 years: a total of 2.62 million are people out of work. Over a million young people, one in five, are without a job, a figure last seen under the last Tory Government.

Enough is enough.

George Osborne has pushed his reckless financial plan for 18 months. It’s hurting, but not working, in Britain nor in Leeds West.

Labour knows that there is a better way.

That’s why Labour has set out a clear five-point plan for jobs, to help struggling families and support small businesses.

1. A £2 billion tax on bank bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people – which they would be required to take up – and build 25,000 more affordable homes. In Leeds West, this would help the 1,260 young people who are out of work, get the construction industry back to work and provide new housing for local families.

2. Bringing forward long-term investment projects: schools, roads and transport – to get people back to work and strengthen our economy for the future: securing jobs and supporting the construction industry in Leeds.

3. Reversing January’s damaging VAT rise now for a temporary period – a £450 boost for a couple with children – immediate help for high streets like Armley and for struggling families and pensioners across our area.

4. A one year cut in VAT to 5% on home improvements, repairs and maintenance to help homeowners and small businesses across Leeds West, offering greater support to all the small construction firms in Leeds West.

5. A one year national insurance tax break for every small firm which takes on extra workers – helping small businesses to grow and create jobs. I’m proud that we’ve got 3,540 small businesses across Leeds West and they could benefit from a one year national insurance tax break if they take on workers -; a real boost for businesses at the heart of our community.

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