Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 30 January 2014


It would be remiss of me not to celebrate the very welcome news last week of another massive drop in unemployment across the country, the scale of which has taken commentators and economists by surprise.

The local impact is very welcome. In a constituency of 70,000 adults, only 489 of the working age population are currently unemployed a rate of 1.1%. This is the 13th best performance in the whole country out of 650 constituencies. The number of claimants in South West Devon has fallen by 200 since December 2012 and by 42 since November 2013.

Most businesses have been cut right back to the bone over the recent 5 years since the crash of 2007/8 and the people still with a job are working as hard as possible. This means that as confidence recovers and firms get busier, most of them have to recruit to deal with the extra work because there is no slack left in the system

Despite having to make substantial cuts in public sector jobs in recent years, the private sector has more than made up for it, with 1.3 million new private sector jobs being created.

Governments do not create these jobs. The credit should go to the owners and directors of the companies and small firms who have hung on in there during a very tough recession and are now ready to flourish once more. These people, who have lain awake at night worrying about how to pay their wage bills and VAT, are the risk takers and entrepreneurs who create work for others.  We should salute and support them.

The job of government is to create the right economic conditions in which the wealth creators can do their thing, and it is gratifying that the tough decisions taken by the coalition in the past 3 years are bearing fruit.

Furthermore, (and I never thought I would hear myself say this) our Liberal Democrat partners also deserve credit for sticking with these tough decisions and helping us to come out the other side of a dark tunnel. They have taken a lot of flak for this but it was the right thing for the nation as we are beginning to see. I hope they will not be decimated as a result at the next election.

The economic future is looking rosier but the job is not yet done. Public finances remain dire. Hopefully we will be allowed to complete the task.

posted by Gary @ 10:49