David Cameron claims the North East economy is growing – even as unemployment rises.
The Prime Minister used a visit to the Port of Tyne to champion the region after unemployment figures showed it was the only region to see joblessness increase in the last month.
He said: “The interesting thing is, I know that the unemployment figures for the last month in the North East were disappointing, but if you take the last quarter or the last year the increase in the employment rate of the North East was the fastest anywhere, not just in this country but the United Kingdom.
> The interesting thing is, Dave, that unemployment continues to rise in the North East, whatever crap you spout.
“There were 43,000 jobs created in the last month. We need that to go even faster to decrease unemployment as well.”
> Really ? 43,000 jobs created in the last month ? Where are they, Dave ? I don’t see them when I do my jobsearch. The rise in unemployment suggest no-one else does either.
The unemployment figures out this week, in which the North East was the only area to see an increase, came after the Guardian newspaper caused outrage by comparing the region to Detroit.
“To say that is just to put the North East down,” Mr Cameron said of the controversial article. “You know, Nissan is producing more cars than the whole of Italy,”
> We also know that Nissan has just laid off 350+ workers…
“we have the Hitachi train factory coming that will mean massive investment for the North East, we have oil rigs being fabricated on the Tyne now, something that has not happened here for some years.
“The Chancellor and I have been very clear: we need an economy where we invest more, where we make more, design more things, export more things, and the North East is a very positive part of that.
“We need everyone involved in politics and business in the North East to speak up for it, and I’m glad to play my part.”
He added: “I think we are putting our money where our mouth is here. We have put a third of a billion into the North East through the regional growth fund, with the city deals, we have unprecedented devolution to Sunderland, Newcastle, there are major infrastructure projects going ahead with the Metro and the Tyne crossing.”
The Prime Minister’s brief visit to the Port of Tyne in South Tyneside did not include any discussions with regional leaders, however.
South Tyneside Council leader Iain Malcolm said he thought the PM was “frit” – meaning “frightened”.
“I have to say we are quite disappointed with this,” Mr Malcolm said. “What we wanted was for the PM to have the courage to come and see the regional leaders and set out what can be done to tackle the issues facing the North East.
“Instead of engaging with any of us he just flew in and flew out as quickly as he could.”
> And nobody knew he was coming… therefore there was no chance of embarrassing demonstrations.
Source – Newcastle Journal, 17 May 2014
Stagnating North East house prices are undermining George Osborne’s Budget, MPs have warned.
Labour has hit out at claims the region is set to benefit from the Chancellor’s latest Budget, despite many of the measures being welcomed by the North East Chamber of Commerce.
As the Budget debate continues in Parliament, Hexham Conservative Guy Opperman spoke up for what he said were Government policies helping grow the North East economy.
He told MPs: “In the North East, the Help to Buy scheme is absolutely transforming the housing market. In Humbles Wood in Prudhoe, a housing development in my area, 90% of new purchases have been through Help to Buy. That must be good news.”
But his claim riled North Durham MP Kevan Jones, who quipped that the Conservatives are likely to adopt “Happy Days are Here Again as their 2015 General Election theme tune” but said people wouldn’t be fooled into believing everything was rosy.
He told the House of Commons: “I am not sure what nirvana the honourable member for Hexham lives in if he thinks that the housing market in the North East is booming. Average house prices here are still £5,000 lower than in 2008; that compares to an increase of about £77,000 in London.
“The honourable gentleman also fails to recognise that 16% of people in the North East are still in negative equity. The idea that somehow the housing market in the region is booming is wrong. We have a two-speed Britain – a booming South East and London, and a stagnating North.”
“The honourable member for Hexham described Hexham, which is a nice constituency, and the North East, but he is living in some type of parallel universe if he thinks that the North East economy is booming. Well-paid jobs in the public and private sectors have been replaced by low-paid zero-hours contracts.”
Source – Newcastle Journal 03 April 2014