Steve McCabe MP calls for action on jobs and low pay in Autumn Statement

Steve McCabe MP is calling on the Chancellor to put jobs and low pay in the West Midlands at the top of his agenda in next week’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review.

 

 In Steve’s constituency of Selly Oak, 4.1% of people are unemployed compared to 2.4% nationally. This means that the suburban constituency is, quite astonishingly, now in the top 13% of constituencies for unemployment across the whole country. And for those in work, a fifth of people are earning below the Living Wage.

 60% of people in Selly Oak are receiving tax credits to top up their income and 66% of children live in families who rely on tax credits. The Chancellor’s cuts to tax credits will only make the issue of low pay worse, pushing more people into poverty as they face losing an average of £1300 per year. The answer to low pay is not to cut tax credits.

 The situation could be worse still with free school meals for infant pupils also hanging in the balance. 

Birmingham needs more than just promises from George Osborne and Orwellian Newspeak on the Living Wage. While tax credits are cut, key family costs are rising; we need action to help the working poor and boost employment skills. Living standards need to rise and we need to upskill our current workforce and make sure the next generation is equipped with the skills to secure jobs and sustainable paid work for the future.

 Steve McCabe MP said:

“I am very concerned about what the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement will mean for my constituents and Birmingham. While low pay and unemployment continues to blight Birmingham and the West Midlands, the Chancellor appears to be going full steam ahead with his cuts to tax credits.

 “I am sure the Chancellor will tells us about the ‘Midlands Engine’ next week but this is no good if we don’t have the jobs and skills to drive it. In my constituency unemployment is in the top 13% of the country and over half of families rely on tax credits. Clearly we need a plan to tackle low pay and get people into long-term, sustainable employment. I just hope the Chancellor is really listening.”

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