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Employment

EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL

Full employment should be an essential aim of any government. The human and financial costs of unemployment are devastating, as people in Britain know too well. A study by the Rowntree Foundation revealed the facts hidden behind the Government's fabricated 'statistics'.

The unemployment figure of under 1 million trumpeted by the Government in March 2005 was a lie. That figure is based only on those who are allowed to claim benefit. Government unemployment statistics do not include the millions who are in part-time work, or on short-term contracts trying their best to cope with low pay, poor conditions and total insecurity about the future.

The truth is that at the beginning of the 21st Century we have, according to an independent report - the Rowntree Foundation - more than 6 million people of employable age who have no job. Further evidence of the real level of unemployment can be seen by reference to the number of households which have no wage earners. For example, in 1980, 5 per cent of British households contained no wage earners - a figure which had risen dramatically to 20 per cent by 2005.

The Government's policies actually create unemployment, deliberately butchering industries and services, destroying not only individual lives and families but devastating entire communities, leading directly to the social misery and unrest around us today.

At the same time, Government policies have backed employers who continue to pay miserable, almost slave wages, and ruthlessly exploit their employees.

The massive privatisation programme has led to obscene salary increases, bonus payments and 'golden hand-shakes' for top executives and company directors - while anti-union laws have been brought in to stop workers from effectively protecting jobs, industries, pay and conditions.

Meanwhile, our manufacturing industries have been butchered. Once our nation had over 80 per cent of its economy based on manufacturing, with vibrant coal, steel, ship building, motor car and heavy and light engineering industries supporting a strong economic structure.

MANUFACTURING

Today, less than 20 per cent of our economy is based in manufacturing. We have developed an inverted pyramid with a top-heavy service and financial structure, supported on a fragile 20 per cent manufacturing base - an economic system which is not sustainable.

Rebuilding and restoring our economy can only be done by regenerating our deep mine coal industry, re-developing our battered steel and motor car industries and ending all coal and steel imports into Britain. There is a simple solution to the closure of the Rover/MG plant in Birmingham - take it into public ownership. There is no reason why the Government should not implement this policy immediately.

We must re-establish a British motor car industry with a Socialist perspective. Economically, if the French and Germans can each support three major motor car manufacturers, then Britain - which gave birth to the industrial revolution - can surely sustain a publicly owned motor car industry, an industry which meets social and environmental needs.

We have to rebuild - again, from the perspective of social need - our engineering industries, and restore the mighty ship building industry which was once the envy of the world.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Unemployment - even under this unjust capitalist system - could be wiped out virtually overnight. It requires just three basic measures:

These steps would create jobs for all who are able to work, but they must be real jobs - whether full-time or part-time (for those who cannot work full-time). They must be permanent jobs (no more short-terms contracts) and they must be jobs paying a decent wage.

The introduction of a four-day working week, a ban on all non-essential overtime and voluntary retirement on full pay at age 55 would cost £85 billion. The vast majority if not all of this cost could be met out of the £80 billion currently paid out in unemployment and related benefits and by National Insurance contributions which would flow from the increased number of people in work.

Money lost through unemployment - lost through lack of purchasing power and income tax revenue - costs taxpayers at least £35 billion a year. Our employment policies would not only mean jobs for unemployed workers but a better deal all round for Britain's taxpayers.