Jo challenged Treasury Minister Yvette Cooper in the Commons
A 36% rise in unemployment in East Dunbartonshire has been highlighted by Jo Swinson during a debate in the House of Commons.
Describing the impact that the current recession is having on families in East Dunbartonshire, Jo singled out the job losses affecting workers at Flexible Ducting in Milngavie. She called for investment in environmental initiatives to kick-start the UK economy.
Challenging Treasury Minister Yvette Cooper in the House of Commons, Jo said:
“The economic downturn is hitting East Dunbartonshire hard. Flexible Ducting has announced the closure of its Milngavie plant with the loss of 85 jobs, and unemployment has risen by 36% in the past year. Instead of tinkering with a VAT cut, surely the Chancellor should invest the money to kick-start the economy by investing in green initiatives to create jobs, cut energy bills and tackle climate change.”
Commenting later, Ms Swinson said:
“Job losses, and the very harsh consequences that go with them, are hitting East Dunbartonshire. For people who need money in their pocket now, the Chancellor’s VAT cut will do precious little. It amounts to a 50p cut in a £25 restaurant bill, and we have already seen shops themselves cutting prices by far more of their own accord.
“Instead, the tax system needs to be made fairer on a permanent basis, with income tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes.
“Further to this, Nick Clegg has outlined a ‘green road out of recession’, that will boost the UK economy and keep up the momentum to tackle climate change. Paid for by scrapping the Chancellor’s ineffectual VAT cut, the plan would see investment in green schemes to make homes warmer, cut energy bills and improve public transport.
“Investing in insulating people’s homes will help thousands of residents whose heating bills have gone through the roof in the past year, at the same time as creating jobs and protecting the environment.”