I was interested to read that 71.5 per cent of Maldon District’s population is now working (Maldon and Burnham Standard, 6 November) Whilst a drop in unemployment is welcome, what is not clear is the type of jobs included in these figures.
According to recent nationwide figures, released by the TUC, only one in every 40 new jobs created since the recession has been for a full-time employee. The number of people employed on zero-hours contracts has soared to 1.4 million people and, of course, most of these workers are not entitled to sick pay, holiday pay or the chance to build up a pension. At the same time, of course, they face worries about whether they will be asked to come in to work, whether they can pay their bills and, in some case, whether private landlords will allow them to rent a home.
Maldon District is not exempt. A recent Unicef UK report highlighted the Government's failure on child poverty. The number of British children living in poverty has increased to more than a quarter as a result of the government's decision to balance the spending cuts on the shoulders of the poorest people in society. In Maldon the number of children in families experiencing in-work poverty was 2,407 last year while the equivalent figure was 1,447 for children in out-of-work poverty.
The last Labour government lifted more than a million children out of poverty but we now appear to be going backwards. We cannot address the effects of child poverty without addressing the causes – including low household incomes.
Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Maldon
London Road, Maldon, CM9 6HD
Photo Credit Richard McKeever