Tory minister blames jobless rise on firms' fears over Labour 'anti-business rhetoric'
Posted: Wed 12th Aug 2015
A Conservative minister has said the increase in unemployment between April and June is because employers were fearful about the future of their company due to an anti-business agenda during the general election campaign by Labour and the SNP.
Figures out today from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show the jobless rate in the second quarter of the year was 1.85m, a 25,000 increase on the previous three months and the second consecutive rise.
But speaking on BBC News' Victoria Derbyshire programme work and pensions minister Justin Tomlinson said: "We've seen fantastic economic growth in this country and it's not unreasonable during that election period that with the anti-business Labour and SNP agenda, which were well ahead in the polls, that businesses would pause. I used to be a business owner myself; it's a rational thing to do.
"Since then with the decisive Budget and the clear election decision, businesses are now creating near record number of vacancies."
Stephen Timms, Labour's acting shadow work and pensions secretary, added: "The rise in unemployment for a second month in a row is worrying and shows we cannot afford to be complacent about the recovery.
"With productivity stagnating, David Cameron and George Osborne must take bolder action to raise jobseekers' skill levels to get more back into work and help build the high-skilled workforce Britain needs."
The ONS data also showed that the number of self-employed individuals fell to 4.51m, compared to 4.46m between March and May.