Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Financial Secretary is urging local MPs in the North East to vote in Parliament to repeat the successful bankers’ bonus tax and use the money raised to help create up to 100,000 much needed youth jobs, including over 5,000 in the North East region.


The Labour Party has tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill which would require the Tory-led Government to repeat last year’s bonus tax.   Labour believes the Government is failing our young people.  Youth unemployment currently stands at almost one million – that means one in five young people unable to find work.


There are thousands of young people – including many in North East - whose talents are going to waste as this Government completely fails to help them get off the dole and into work.


Of course the worldwide recession – caused by the irresponsible actions of the banks – meant youth unemployment rose sharply. But a year ago, thanks to Labour’s youth jobs programme, it was starting to fall steadily.


Yet one of the first things George Osborne did in government was to scrap Labour’s youth jobs guarantee. And so there are now more young people looking for work than when Labour left office.


That’s why Labour has today tabled amendment from Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne for a £2 billion tax on bankers’ bonuses which should be used to help create up to 100,000 more jobs for young people, build more affordable homes and support small businesses. The Bankers Bonus tax would also be used to increase the Regional Growth Fund by £200m.


Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Finance Secretary, said:


“Putting young people on the dole is not just a waste of talent but a waste of money too.   Failing to get Britain back to work fast enough is helping to push up the benefits bill by over £12 billion – that’s £500 for every household in the North East.


“We need to act now to stop another lost generation of young people – like in the 1980s when youth unemployment rose for four years after the recession was over.


“That’s why we need another fair tax on bank bonuses to get people off the dole and into work. It’s the best way to get the deficit down – and stop Britain’s talent going to waste.  The youth jobs fund could create over 5000 jobs in this region. I will be voting for this proposal this week and I hope local MPs from other parties will join me in voting for it too.”
People can sign up to the campaign by going to


Notes to Editors


1. Labour has tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill calling for last year’s £3.5 billion bank bonus tax to be repeated this year – on top of the permanent bank levy – and for the funds raised to be used to create jobs and apprenticeships for young people, build more affordable homes and support small businesses.  


2.  Shadow chancellor Ed Balls and shadow work secretary Liam Byrne have appealed to Lib Dem and Conservative backbenchers and nationalist MPs to back their call for their call for a tax on bankers’ bonuses to get young people into work and so help get the deficit down.


3. With the £2 billion that we believe, on a cautious estimate, could be raised this year from repeating the bank bonus tax, Labour says the government could create over 110,000 jobs, build thousands of much needed homes and support investment in the regions. The funds raised from the bank bonus tax could be used to: 


· Establish a £600m fund for youth jobs. This would help more than 90,000 young people into work at a time when youth unemployment has reached almost one million.


· Provide £1.2bn to fund the construction of more than 25,000 homes across the country. This would generate more than 20,000 jobs and several times more in the supply chain, and as many as 1,500 construction apprenticeships at a time when demand for construction apprentices has fallen by 31%.


· Boost the Regional Growth Fund by £200m. With the first wave of the fund over-subscribed several times over, this would be a quick way to drive new investment. The Regional Growth Fund represents a two-thirds cut from the funding for Regional Development Agencies, which were abolished last year.


4. Official figures show that between October 2009 and January 2010 there were 91,890 starts to Future Jobs Fund vacancies.  A regional breakdown of the starts is provided below.  While Labour’s youth jobs fund would be different scheme to the Future Jobs Fund the regional breakdown below provides an indication of how the additional 90,000 jobs would benefit regions across the country.
FJF regional starts – October 2009-January 2011
Region Number of starts
East Midlands 5,460
East of England 3,790
London 11,540
North East 5,330
North West 17,780
Scotland 8,920
South East 5,000
South West 4,450
Wales 7,960
West Midlands 10,470
Yorkshire and Humberside 8,600
Unknown 2,600
Total 91,890

Source: Young Person’s Guarantee Official Statistics, 13 April 2011,
Table 2 -