Catherine McKinnell

Unemployment hits north east women the hardest

NEWCASTLE North MP Catherine McKinnell has accused the prime minister of being “completely out of touch” with the fears and uncertainties faced by women across the north east.

The Shadow Children’s Minister quizzed David Cameron about the latest grim regional figures which show that rising unemployment is hitting women well over twice as hard as men.

She asked him: “Where do you think a woman’s place is? At home? In the workplace? Or at the Jobcentre?”

Mr Cameron, whose personal poll rating amongst female voters has plummeted in recent months, failed to address the regional issue.

Instead he referred to the UK picture, claiming that his government is introducing childcare for two-year-olds, improving childcare generally, and taking more low-paid working families out of the tax net.

Ms McKinnell said: “Quite frankly, the PM’s response was pathetic. It bears no relationship to what is happening in the north east.

“He either doesn’t understand the effect that his government’s actions are having on women, or he just doesn’t care.

“He is completely out of touch with the lives of my constituents who are now feeling the full impact of the coalition’s unfair cuts.”

She also accused him of deepening the north-south divide.

“I want to see the PM taking on board the challenges that people face in supporting their families rather delivering yet more empty words which are totally divorced from what is happening on the ground,” she added.

“He is sowing the seeds for another lost generation.”

The official jobless figures show that over the last three months, 11,500 more north east people have lost their jobs, 8,500 of them women.

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