Unemployed figure rises by 300 in North Somerset

THE number of people unemployed and claiming jobseeker's allowance in North Somerset has risen again to more than 2,300

THE number of people unemployed and claiming jobseeker's allowance in North Somerset has risen again to more than 2,300 in January - an increase of more than 300 on December 2008.

The number rose to 2,367 in January, up from 2,061 in November.

Year on year, the number of unemployed in the district has more than doubled from 1,143 in January 2008.

Weston MP John Penrose said: “The economic downturn is biting hard and it’s clear that Weston hasn’t escaped. Many local shops and businesses are finding it hard to weather the storm and we’ve seen a string of closures both in Weston high street and in local villages too. We all knew it would affect employment in our area but this is truly awful.


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"We need to do more to preserve jobs. We could cut tax on small businesses from 22p to 20p in the pound, defer small and medium business VAT bills to help with their cash flow, cut National Insurance contributions for businesses employing less than five people, give tax breaks for firms that hire staff who have been unemployed for three months or more, and encourage small shops and businesses to claim Business Rate Relief.

"Almost half the businesses which are eligible aren't claiming it, and it could make the difference between staying afloat and going under.”

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Weston-super-Mare's Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate Mike Bell said: "Another 300 local families have been hit by unemployment in the last month alone and it is likely to get much worse before it gets better.

"Local and national government need to step up to the plate and help our businesses survive this recession. Relief from business rates, action to help with rents and ensuring council and government cash is spent with local businesses can all make an impact.

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