Letter: Widespread job insecurity

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The Independent Online
Sir: The President of the Board of Trade, Ian Lang MP, suggests that the letter he sent to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, regarding the state of the manufacturing sector, was "a routine exchange of correspondence about the interpretation of statistics" (Letters, 24 April). Yet, in his own words, in his letter to William Waldegrave MP, an article by DTI officials "concluded that either manufacturers are extremely optimistic about future prospects or that we should expect to see employment falling over the next few months".

Many jobs are being lost. Between the beginning of January and the end of March more than 50,000 redundancies were reported in the national press. These job losses occurred across a range of industries.

Job insecurity, far from being a "state of mind", as Mr Lang has infamously claimed, is widespread. Since the last General Election, the number of permanent jobs has fallen by 109,000 and temporary employment has increased by over 300,000 jobs. One in every two new jobs now lasts for less than a year.

Just like their pledges on tax at the election, Tory promises of economic recovery turned out to be a cheap gimmick to con the voters. The electorate will not be taken in so easily next time.

Ian McCartney MP

(Makerfield, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1

The writer is Shadow Minister of State for Employment.