The most recent unemployment statistics in Croydon show a very substantial fall in the past year. This trend is repeated across London and across the UK as a whole.
In Croydon South, unemployment has fallen 44% between the 2010 election and June 2014. The rate is now down to 1.8%. Youth unemployment in Croydon South has fallen by 51% over the same period. This is great news for our area, and we must continue towards the goal of eradicating unemployment entirely.
Nationally, the Conservative Government took tough choices to reduce the deficit and at the same stimulate the economy to create jobs in the private sector. This means that Government spending has come down in real terms and there are 600,000 fewer public sector jobs than there were in 2010. However, measures like cutting corporation tax from 28% to 21% have helped private companies create even more jobs. So despite the reduction in public sector jobs, the overall number of jobs in the UK economy has gone up from 28.8m under Labour in May 2010 to 30.6m today – an all-time record.
Ed Balls and Ed Milliband said that the Conservative economic plan would not work. But it has worked, and it is working. The jobs and growth data and the falling deficit prove that. But there is a still a lot to do – I would like to see the deficit fall much further, more jobs created and wages rise. But we are on the right track and if we keep going with the plan then widely shared prosperity lies ahead. This is the crucial question we face at the 2015 election. We can’t risk letting Ed Milliband and Ed Balls derail the recovery.