6 December 2012

The problem with Osborne...

...is that he is just too concerned with political point scoring as this response to a perfectly reasonable question from David Miliband on the Autumn statement shows. (The full debate and exchanges can be downloaded from the Hansard website). 
David Miliband (South Shields) (Lab):

This time last year, the Chancellor told me not to worry about youth unemployment on the grounds that his Youth Contract would take care of it. Now we know that 450,000 young people have been unemployed for more than six months and that 179,000 have gone on to the Work programme but only 5,920 have got a job as a result. That is 3% of those going on the Work programme and less than 2% of the long-term youth unemployed. Will he now agree, without point scoring, to look at the level of the wage subsidy to incentivise take-up, at the structure of the Work programme, so that voluntary organisations are not squeezed out, and at the role of a part-time job guarantee to give hope to these young people?

Mr Osborne:
The right hon. Gentleman often has interesting and intelligent things to say about welfare to work programmes, and I am happy to consider the points he makes. I read some of his work earlier this year—it was quite a good job application for being shadow Chancellor.

Osborne's credibility as Chancellor is reduced by this undergraduate debating style and his use of political beartraps in his proposals.  He should take a leaf out of Vince Cable's book and play it straight and grown up.

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