Yesterday in the Commons, Roger Gale spoke about unemployment and other associated problems in Thanet such as looked after children. He spoke out against the proposed closure of the Whitstable JobCentre as it will put extra pressure upon the Herne Bay branch and attacked the legislation surrounding empty property rates, an issue highlighted in the past by Laura Sandys:
"As the Minister knows, Thanet has suffered historically from the highest levels of unemployment and social deprivation in the south-east—among the highest levels in the country. The reasons are not hard to find. Thanet has suffered from an enormous amount of immigration. During the 1980s, the immigration came from around the United Kingdom in what was known as the “dole on sea” syndrome: the unemployed came to the seaside to live on the dole in hotels and guest houses, and Thanet took more than its fair share. That contributed to its unemployed base."
"Thanet has also been the dumping ground for cared-for children from London boroughs and, shamefully, from some of the home counties as well. Those young people have grown up. Very many of them have been damaged and found it extremely hard to find employment of any kind, so we are used to unemployment in Thanet."
It is clear as day that we are in recession, with retail and manufacturing already proven to be shrinking. The credit crunch isnt finished at all despite the package announced yesterday and there is a lot more pain to come. The Government must take a wider view rather than concentrating solely on the banking crisis, which while important in itself, is not the only problem. Unemployment will inevitably increase and the Government must recognise that more must be done to lessen the pain of that. The point about children in care is a pertinent one as these are people who require state support as a pre-requisite rather than it being a voluntary option they take up.