One in five Birmingham people will be jobless by 2015 - David Miliband
Nearly one in five Birmingham residents will be unemployed by 2015, Labour leadership contender David Miliband has warned.
The Shadow Foreign Secretary, who is campaigning to replace Gordon Brown as Labour leader, highlighted the city’s unemployment problem as he launched his own plan to create jobs.
He published research showing up to 17,160 jobs could be axed in the city as a result of Government spending cuts.
The figures were compiled by House of Commons officials for Mr Miliband.
It would bring the number of unemployed in the city up to 81,560 - and the unemployment rate would increase to 18 per cent of working-age residents, from 14.6 per cent today.
Birmingham would lose more jobs than any other city as a result of spending cuts, not just because it is the biggest city outside London but also because it currently depends heavily on the public sector to provide employment.
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition has announced spending cuts of more than £6 billion, including cutting the budget for West Midlands Police by £7 million, cutting city council funding by £12 million and stopping 13 planned school rebuilding schemes in the city.
They say the measures are needed to get Britain’s massive debts under control. Labour says the Government is making cuts too quickly.
Mr Miliband, widely considered the favourite to win the leadership battle, said: “The Tories haven’t learnt the lessons of the 1980s when whole communities were destroyed by rising unemployment.”
His economic action plan included proposals for a new bank, to invest in industry; getting more people into an apprenticeship or workplace training, up to the age of 30; pressing ahead with school building proposals, and encouraging businesses to increase wages for low-paid staff.