Local MPs including Yvette have expressed shock as new figures from Sheffield University show the Government is taking over £120m out of the local economy this year as a result of things like the bedroom tax, cuts to tax credits and child benefit and other changes and failing to secure growth in the economy.
The figures come as unemployment in Wakefield rose for the fourth month in a row, now sitting at 10,211 people, the highest since 1996, with 4 people chasing every vacancy across the District.
From April this year 5200 WDH tenants in receipt of housing benefit who are judged to have one or two spare rooms are being asked to pay an average of between £14 and £25 extra on their homes. That alone will mean £5m less spending power in this area.
In addition, things like working tax credit, carers allowance and child benefit are not going up with inflation as they normally would and 2/3 of those being hit are working families.
But that means households will have less money to spend in the local economy. Local shops, businesses and services will also be hit at a time when the economy is already flat lining.
Whilst families and pensioners across the Wakefield District are struggling with rising bills and stagnant wages, millionaires have each received an average £100,000 tax cut.
Labour has proposed 100,000 youth jobs, paid for by a bankers bonus tax. Labour has made clear that people who can work, must work - and local MPs are backing a compulsory jobs guarantee to ensure there is a paid job for everyone who has been out of work for two years or more, paid for from restricting pensions tax relief for people earning over £150,000.
Yvette Cooper MP said:
“These shocking figures confirm what we’ve been saying all along. Things like the bedroom tax are really unfair. But the Government's policies are also taking far more money out of the Wakefield economy than other areas - so that makes it harder to get the local economy growing too. Unemployment is already too high - we need action to get that down not make it worse.”