Ed Balls calls for bonus tax to fund job help on visit to University Academy Keighley (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Ed Balls calls for bonus tax to fund job help on visit to University Academy Keighley
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls with students at University Academy Keighley, associate principal Linda Wallsgrove (left) and Coun Jan Smithies
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls called for another tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund job schemes for young unemployed people when he visited a new project in Keighley.
The former Minister said more needed to be done to tackle the soaring numbers of people joining dole queues across Bradford district after this week’s announcement that the country was officially back in recession.
In the past 12 months 1,385 more young people have sought employment across the district, pushing the total number of 18 to 24-year-olds looking for work to more than 6,115.
Speaking at the start of Our Town, Our Future, Our Voice – a project to work with young people at risk becoming long-term unemployed – at University Academy Keighley, the Labour MP said “not nearly enough” was being done for young people struggling to find jobs.
Mr Balls said: “What the Government ought to do is repeat the bank bonus tax for a second year and use that to get a job guarantee for every young person. It could be done and it should be done.”
Mr Balls was at the school in Green Head Road, to back the new venture organised by Bradford Councillor Jan Smithies (Lab, Keighley West).
It will include working with young people, particularly those who are not in education employment or training (Neet), to help them set up their own businesses and working with colleges and employers, including Keighley Cougars.
Mr Balls and young people who have joined the scheme watched a hard-hitting documentary by 24-year-old film maker Emma Dennis, of Oakworth, featuring personal stories of Keighley’s long-term unemployed.
Unemployed Masters graduate Miss Dennis, who is dyslexic, told Mr Balls she found living on jobseekers allowance of £53.46 per week, while being “treated like scum” at the job centre was “soul destroying”.
An event has been organised under the Our Town, Our Future, Our Voice project, for employers and unemployed young people who will host stalls in the town’s Airedale Centre on June 24.
Coun Smithies said: “We want all the Bradford Council portfolio holders and the MPs to come down to hear that what we need in Keighley is investment in jobs. Whatever qualifications you have got, you can get involved.”
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