As I write this, the ongoing deadlock in Parliament over how to leave the European Union looms over everything else. I know that virtually everyone across the country feels deeply frustrated and, in some cases, angry, at the inability to reach a settlement and deliver what people voted for.
The deadlock also crowds out discussion and debate on many other important issues and means that some good news gets overlooked. One area is the continuing success of our economy to create growth and new jobs. Recent figures have confirmed our continued progress but has gone under reported. In 2010 when Gordon Brown left office, our national debt was spiralling out of control, there was a recession, unemployment was rising, and youth unemployment was a persistent problem.
As a government we had to take some tough decisions in order to restore fiscal responsibility and get our country’s finances back on track. Everyone has made sacrifices and played their part and now, because of the hard work that we have put in in, we’ve begun to turn our country around and get the economy moving again.
Nine years after the Labour Party left government, unemployment is at its lowest level for 50 years with a record number of just under 33 million people now in work, and the highest employment rate since records began in 1971. What this means is that the number of people working has continued to grow, whilst the share of the workforce looking for work and unable to find it remains at its lowest level for over 40 years. In Camborne and Redruth, the unemployment rate remains below that of the national average with the total number of unemployed claimants for December 2018 totalling 1,245 or 3%. This is less than the equivalent UK claimant rate of 3.1%, and more significantly that of the national unemployment rate of 4%.
Recent figures confirmed that the country’s debt is also continuing to come under control with the Government delivering the lowest yearly borrowing rate for 16 years and recent figures showing that overspending by the Government has fallen with it being at its lowest level since 2012 and £13.1billion less than last year.
These statistics are no accident but the product of a series of reforms introduced by the government to improve our economy and a lot of hard work by everyone to achieve for their family. We’ve cut taxes, reformed welfare, made it easier for businesses to employ people, frozen fuel duty and increased the national living wage. As a country, we’re now growing faster than other EU nations, with the International Monetary Fund recently stating that they expect the UK to have the joint-fastest GDP growth among European countries in the G7 nations in both 2019 and 2020, further strengthening the case that Britain is a great place to live, start a business and raise a family.
All of this is built on the foundations of the principles of fiscal responsibility and delivering a strong economy that works for everyone. Despite the current Brexit gloom felt by many, Britain is back on its feet, strong and growing stronger every day. Whilst there is still a long way to go, the progress that we have made demonstrates the flair, ingenuity and hard work of the British people, and the Government’s resolve to improving our economy.