Cost of unemployment in Dundee put at £40 million a year
10 September 2010
Present levels of unemployment in Dundee could be costing around £40 million a year, according to Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP.
An answer to her recent Parliamentary Question indicates that in July last month there were 5,094 people in the city claiming unemployment-related benefits.
Academic research suggests that the cost of unemployment per person is roughly between £8,000 and £9,000 a year.
This costing breaks down as follows :
£3-4,000 in adult benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance
£1,750 in housing benefits/council tax benefit
£1,500 in child benefits including free school meals
£2,000 in lost income tax payments and National Insurance contributions and lower VAT receipts.
Ms. Glen said,
" In these tough times, the money would be far better spent in providing productive work that matches the skills and talents of those who have lost their jobs.
"This would support the city’s economy.
" However, coming cuts in government expenditure will damage both the public and the private sectors and put the recovery at risk which in turn will cost us more in the long term."
"In general, people who are on benefits deserve and genuinely need this money.
"People contribute to benefits through their taxation and national insurance payments to this entitlement.
"That money helps them and it helps the economy, but it would help them better if it were used to create jobs to get them back into the labour market.
"To give some examples.
"The condition of the construction sector is a good indicator of the overall health of the economy , which is why it must be supported by capital investment and by retaining skilled workers and apprenticeships.
"The construction sector in the city needs to be boosted having suffered from the millions of pounds cut form the city’s affordable budget allocation.
" Dundee would benefit from more trade apprenticeships. Over each of the past three years the percentage of those in work in Dundee who have completed a trade apprenticeship has been below the Scottish average.
"The public sector in general is good for boosting local growth.
"The TUC estimate that for every £1 spent on public services to create jobs or to purchase supplies and services generates a further 64p for the local economy."
The answers to her parliamentary question also provided figures for the number of unemployed in several identifiable areas of Dundee.
These included :
Baxter Park 192
Broughty Ferry 250
Levels of unemployment in various areas of Dundee : answer to parliamentary Question
Index Heading: Finance and Sustainable Growth
Marlyn Glen (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive how many people were claiming unemployment-related benefits in each Dundee City Council ward at the most recent date for which information is available, broken down by gender.
Mr John Swinney:
The claimant count is a measure of those claiming unemployment related benefits. Claimant counts are not yet available for the new wards as used in the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary Elections. However, data is available for the 2003 CAS (Census Area Statistics) wards. Tables 1 contains claimant counts for each ward within Dundee City.
Table 1: Claimant Count in each Dundee City council ward by gender, July 2010
Source: Office for National Statistics