In the wake of today’s unemployment news Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, MARGARET CURRAN MP, calls for a new plan of action on job creation.


Today, official statistics were published showing that unemployment in Scotland has risen for the second month in a row. Youth unemployment has topped the 100,000 mark for the first time since these records began in 1992. Things must change.

That’s why today Richard Baker MSP and I visited North Glasgow College to meet students worried about unemployment and their futures.

The students we met are bright, conscientious, young people who want to work and are studying courses such as care, construction and engineering that will help get Scotland’s economy moving again. But they know that one in five of their classmates will not find work at the end of their course.

That is because Scotland is stuck between a Tory government cutting too far and too fast and an SNP government whose economic policy simply isn’t working.

But Labour isn’t just here to criticise – our party must be offering a clear alternative to the failed policies of the Tories and the SNP. That’s why we’ve published a five-point plan for jobs and growth. You can read the plan here:

Across the UK, Labour is calling for a national jobs plan to help youngsters find work and get the experience they need to be successful. We want to temporarily reverse the unfair VAT rise, that will put money back into the pockets of hardworking families and help companies with the cost of taking on new staff.

But it is not just the Tories that must act: the SNP government must change course too. They are cutting spending on building roads, bridges, schools, and homes faster than even George Osborne dares to do, and their deep cuts to colleges are dangerous at the very time school leavers need training the most.

In the coming weeks and months, Scottish Labour will be campaigning hard on the need for jobs and growth in Scotland and we have campaign material ready to promote our plan.

Margaret Curran MP is Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland representing Glasgow East at Westminster.

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8 thoughts on “A Plan of Action for Jobs

  1. Unfortunately Margaret Curran fails to take into account that the Tory / Lib Dem coalition holds Scotland’s purse strings and the Scottish Government can only spend what Westminster allows it to spend.

    All the points are admirable but a lot of them are things that the Scottish Government is doing already, or on reserved matters to Westminster.

    1 – A £2 billion tax on bank bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs – Reserved to Westminster

    2 – Scottish government to bring forward long-term investment projects – which the Scottish Government are doing right now and that is one reason why in previous months unemploment fell when it was rising in the rest of the UK. And why it is currently increasing at a slower rate than the rest of the UK (up 2.3% in Scotland in past month compared to 4.9% UK overall)

    3 – Reversing January’s damaging VAT rise – Reserved to Westminster

    4 – A one year cut in VAT to 5% on home improvements – Reserved to Westminster

    5 – A one year national insurance tax break – Reserved to Westminster

    If Margaret Curran really wishes to make a difference to employment prospects in Scotland then she should support the Scottish Government’s efforts to bring forward more capital spending, and she should support the Scottish Parliament having full fiscal autonomy which means proper powers over the various taxes mentioned in Labour’s 5 point plan.

    1. Paul I agree, I listened to Margaret on GMS and really she said nothing about Scottish policies and she is supposed to be leading the No campaign on Independence.
      I am left wondering if she is there to promote the Scottish Labour view or maintain the Status Quo.
      Calman? Yeuch!

  2. Youth unemployment of 100,000 concerns us all.Different paarties have various ideas about how to provide opportunities during a reccession.All countries in the grip of reccession are faced with the question of how to provide jobs and opportunities.
    What concerns me even more is the fact that of those 100,000 there are a substantial number,far too many,who are unemployable in the private sector.
    Yes,of course kids leaving school are a bit green.A bit raw.Employers expect to have a bit to do with them before they really can contribute.Before theyre really worth their wages.And its expected that youth may have to try a few different things before they find what suits them and suits the job.We dont really want outdoor types to spend their life fed up in an office.But we’ve got to sort out this problem of the,perhaps,tens of thousands of kids who have no bility,no ambition and no expectation of ever having a job.And in many instances no desire or need to have a job.
    We mustnt use high unemployment as an excuse for sweeping these kids under the carpet.Theyve been ignored for too long.The solution wont come from London.Theyve managed to do nothing about it for a generation.Its up to all parties in the Parliament of Scotland to turn this round.Without the hinderance of London.

    1. It’s nothing to do with ability or lack of desire to work and everything to do with the fact that there are a lot of people who have been made redundant in the jobs market right now. Most employers would rather give a job to someone who has experience and has good references than to someone who is just starting out, especially in the services sector. That’s why youngsters are being sidelined and not offered jobs and that’s what has to be addressed, they need to find ways to incentivise more employers to take on school leavers and apprentices because all the SG can do is provide incentives, they can’t force employers to do it.

      And if Labour have any bright ideas about that let’s hear them because there is not one single suggestion in their 5 point plan which is do-able. Most of them are reserved and the SG’s capital allocation is decided by Westminster.

  3. @Paul, @Indy

    We are well aware of the fact that many of those changes would need to go through Westminster; hence why the plan was launched by Margaret, a Westminster MP, and not by an MSP.

    1. I don’t think the Tory led UK government are going to take very much notice of these suggestions, but I’m sure if these were decided in Scotland by the Scottish Parliament then there would be a greater likelihood of some or all of them being put into place.

  4. Ms Curren, in deciding to drag along Baker to the college visit is attempting to delineate the politics of Westminster and Holyrood. A tactic which Labour attempted during the General Election (Vote SNP and get the Tories) wasn’t it.
    However, she should rise above such tactics as it is obviously still not having the effect of making labour any more attractive to their supporters.

    She should instead focus on singing aloud the success of previous labour policy in ridding large swathes of the country from poverty, unemployment and poor health. One only has to look at the statistic of the 50 constituencies with the highest number of unemployed in them. Labour,of course are well out there in front with a proud total of 43.

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