Letter: Solutions to unemployment need political will

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Sir: Many people would agree that gainful employment is an essential 'commodity' for a self-respecting adult, yet there are some 3 million people whom circumstances have deprived of this necessity.

The attitude of our rulers often seems to be that unemployment is a misfortune to be born with a stiff upper lip by those who are out of work rather than the deprivation of a necessity for a decent life.

Fifty years ago, by general agreement, when supplies were scarce and uncertain, food was rationed; and the system devised by Lord Woolton was far superior to that employed by our highly efficient adversaries. It occurs to me that we should consider rationing employment as we did food 50 years ago. The change of attitude this might instil might be achieved by remedies of the kind hinted at last year by Frank Field MP: a shorter earning week and a limit to paid overtime work.

Yours sincerely,


Teddington, Oxford

16 March