Unemployment in Britain has jumped to its highest level since 1994, with young people hit hardest.
Public sector jobs are being slashed and private companies are not hiring in a stagnant economy.
Deep cuts in state spending will erase more than 300,000 public sector jobs in coming years, while the UK economy is teetering on the brink of recession again as consumers face a combination of soaring prices, higher taxes and slow wage increases.
Prime minister David Cameron was quick to blame the global financial crisis and euro zone turmoil and refused to ease off on his austerity plans.
Responding to an opposition question in parliament he said: “If we change course on reducing our deficit, we’d end up with interest rates (for government borrowing) like Portugal, like Spain, like Italy, like Greece, and we would sent our economy into a tailspin.”
There are 2.57 million Britons out of work ; that is 8.1 percent of the workforce. Among 16 to 24-year-olds the jobless rate is 21.3 percent leading to fears
fears of a “lost generation” of young people without hope of a job.
This comes in the week that new figures showed two million adults living in poverty in the UK along with 2.2 million children.
A report by the respected think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies talks about an “unprecedented collapse in living standards” in Britain.
That is hitting people like working mother Barbara Allen who said: “I feel like I’m in a sinking boat and things are just going down and down, and there is no life-guard there to save you at the end of the day. And I’m just hoping that my son — who has been unemployed for two years now — will finally get a job.”
The Institute for Fiscal Studies report predicts the poorest Britons getting poorer, particularly affecting children, but the UK government insists that reforms it is making to the welfare system will reduce poverty levels.