Hammond slammed for claiming UK has no unemployed people

Philip Hammond speaks on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Sunday, November 19, 2017.
Philip Hammond speaks on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Sunday, November 19, 2017.

British finance minister Philip Hammond claims there is no unemployed person in the country, while recent studies show quite the opposite.

The most recent figures show that there were 1.42 million out of work between July and September, according to The Independent.

Hammond, who made the remarks Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, has come under pressure for painting a rosy picture of Britain’s ailing economy amid uncertainties over its planned exit from the EU.

“I remember 20 years ago we were worrying about what was going to happen to the million shorthand typists in Britain as the personal computer took over,” he said on the show. “Well, nobody has a shorthand typist these days.

“Where are all these unemployed people? There are no unemployed people.”

Labour immediately reacted with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tweeting: “The Chancellor thinks there are no unemployed people in this country. Completely out of touch.”

In addition, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams wrote: “Seriously??”

Just last month the Bank of England announced Britain’s financial services industry might lose as many as 75,000 jobs after leaving the bloc.

The figure is part of the bank’s “reasonable scenario” for the post-Brexit UK, where no specific financial deal is struck between the government of Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU.

Hammond also claimed that the government was about to bring down public debt after “a difficult year,” noting that inflation might fall after rising sharply.

“And after many years of struggling to get the (budget) deficit down and seeing our debt still rising I think we are at last about to turn that corner and see debt begin to fall,” he said.

Meanwhile, the European Union Thursday slashed UK’s economic growth forecast for this year, saying the slowdown would continue through 2019.

It said that growth in Britain had “slowed markedly” in 2017 and was projected to fall to 1.5 percent for the year, down from its previous estimate of 1.8 percent.

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