What’s this going to do to the coming battle?

What’s this going to do to the coming battle?


How potent is the rising jobless total?

So as expected there’s been another big increase in the number of jobless and we are now back at levels not seen since the mid-90s when the Tory government was in power.

The news comes on the same day that that ex-Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith, unveiled plans costing nearly £3bn a year, to get half a million people off benefits and into work.

This is not party policy but the funding requirement demonstrates the challenge of trying to do something about the jobless at a time when spending cuts are paramount – not spending increases.

Ministers were, of course, prepared for this morning’s unemployment news and the real worry must be if the figures top 3,000,000 before the general election.

Those who are of the right generation will remember the classic posters from Mrs. Thatcher’s 1979 campaign – the last time a Labour government was ousted.

Unemployment figures can have a lot potency and no doubt Team Cameron will be ready to dust off the old line that Labour governments always leave office with unemployment at a higher level than when they came to power.

Mike Smithson

***On PB2 Easterross continues his Scottish seat round-up

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