Today Emma challenged David Cameron over the issue of declining pay across the North East. Figures announced by the Office for National Statistics today showed that people in work in the region are £36 a week worse off than they were a year ago.
Last week a member of the Prime Minister’s own Cabinet Minister Ken Clarke admitted that economic recovery was not benefitting “real people”.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Emma said:
“Last week the Right Honourable Member for Rushcliffe (Kenneth Clarke) said that people in the UK had ‘not yet felt any sense of recovery’, and the ONS has confirmed today that full-time workers in the north-east are £36 a week worse off than they were last year. Does the Prime Minister agree with his cabinet colleague?”
David Cameron replied that “The best route out of poverty is work” and said that unemployment had fallen in the North East.
But the official figures do not agree with the Prime Minister. Weekly pay is now the lowest it has been in the North East for nearly five years, and unemployment in the region actually increased in the last quarter.
You can read Emma’s question, and the Prime Minister’s reply, by clicking here.
Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions, Emma said:
“What the Prime Minister doesn’t realise is that under his Government work is no longer a reliable route out of poverty. Nearly two thirds of people in poverty in our region are people in work, and once again wages failed to keep up with rising prices this month.
“The Coalition’s economic policies aren’t sharing growth with working people, and they aren’t sharing growth with constituencies like South Shields. Even the Prime Minister’s own Cabinet recognise it, but his Government still does nothing to address the cost of living crisis facing working families today.”