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11,000 on Dole for Second Christmas in Southwest

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6:45am 21st December 2011

Almost eleven thousand people in the southwest are going to spend their second Christmas in a row on the dole.

The figure is up fifteen hundred since last year. Unions are blaming government cuts.

Nigel Costley, Regional Secretary of the South West TUC, said “As people gear up for the festive break, there won’t be much cheer for the quarter of a million people who are spending their second successive Christmas on the dole.

“The shocking rise in long-term unemployment is not just a personal tragedy for the families and friends of those unable to find jobs, it can affect entire communities and carries a huge economic cost. 

“What’s most concerning is that as the dole queues mount, the government’s response has been to brand many of those struggling for work as scroungers.  

“The TUC is calling on ministers to make a fresh start in 2012 and focus on tackling our mounting jobs crisis. The UK – one of the richest countries on the world – must not have the shame of millions of its own citizens facing poverty at Christmas with little or no pay.”

6:45am 21st December 2011

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