Comments:UK unemployment rate reaches thirteen-year high

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Unemployment, particularly amongst 16 to 24 year olds, will be the defining political issue in the UK for the next decade and maybe longer still.

The creation of a ‘lost generation’ of people for whom working is an unknown experience is an outcome the country cannot afford in either economic or social terms, all three main parties are agreed on this point, there is though one major problem, solving youth unemployment costs serious money.

This week treasury documents leaked to the press revealed that public spending may have to be cut by up to 9.3% just to bring the deficit down to manageable proportions, making an already serious situation into a potential disaster. What do we choose, balancing the books or fixing a broken society?

Cuts are inevitable, if only because without reining in public spending meeting the current welfare obligations will become ever more difficult for whichever party wins the next election, what needs to take place is a reasoned debate on where the ‘pain’ must be felt first and the cuts deepest.