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Lib Dems comment on unemployment figures

January 23, 2013 4:43 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Commenting as figures published today show the unemployment rate and Willie RennieWillie Rennieemployment rate has fallen again in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said:

"Whilst we can seek some comfort in the drop in unemployment it remains that over 200,000 people are out of work. With both unemployment and employment dropping, there is a real risk that people could slip between the net.

"There are now 24,000 fewer people in jobs over the quarter. If we are to call a halt to this trend, the Scottish Government must work to open doors for people and enable more to return to work. Scottish Ministers should start by reversing their planned cut £34.6 million cut to college budgets. This is a decision the Scottish Government has the power to make to improve people's opportunities in Scotland. Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to urge the Scottish Government to make that choice."

Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said:Michael MooreMichael Moore

"It is encouraging to see unemployment falling by 14,000 in Scotland over the last three months and 4,400 people fewer people claiming Job Seekers Allowance compared to last year.

"There is no room for complacency as we get to grips with the wider challenges. The UK government will continue working hard to get more people back into work and keep its focus on maintaining a stable and growing economy.

"The growth measures we took in the Autumn Statement benefit Scotland by enabling it to invest in science, roads and education and allow it to compete in the global race as part of the UK.

"Unemployment is an issue which needs a joint approach from Scotland's two governments. Next week, I will co-host the first Scottish Employability Forum which will bring the UK and Scottish Governments together with local authorities, delivery bodies and employers to find workable solutions for Scotland's unemployed people.

"DWP will be a key partner and has already supported employability programmes worth £52 million in Scotland this year."