Walton's Unemployment Stinks(June 12, 2013)
Unemployment Figures Don’t Represent a Rise in Liverpool’s Living Standards
This week The House of Cards was released on DVD. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, it is the story of how a US Congressman navigates his way around the turbulence that is the US Capitol Hill. One of my favourite lines in the opening episode is when Congressman Underwood says, ‘After twenty-two years in Congress I can smell the way the wind is blowing’.
Well after just three years in parliament I am beginning to develop a similar sense of smell myself and when today’s unemployment figures were released, it still smelt bad.
Don’t get me wrong, a fall in unemployment is something to be welcomed. 105 people in Walton have found work in the last month and are no longer having to file into the dole queue each week. Yet at the same time more people return to work, it has been revealed that living standards are declining. Surely that’s a paradox; employment rising, living standards declining?
However, it is the reality for thousands in Walton as food prices, gas prices, water prices, house prices and electricity prices are all rising at a faster rate than inflation and wages stagnate, life becomes even harder.
So today is not a day for Cameron’s complacency. Instead, it is a time to ask serious questions about how we tackle the rapid decline in Liverpool’s living standards.