Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Soviet State

I only need to do a quick survey amongst my friends and family to establish that the Public Sector is the biggest employer in the North East. A staggering 66.4% of jobs in the North East are in the Public Sector. This figure is up from 58.7% in 2005 and 53.8% in 1997 when Labour came to power.

Theresa May, Shadow Works and Pensions Secretary said:

“Labour has failed to encourage private sector investment across the country. Instead of supporting enterprise and small businesses, Gordon Brown has used the public sector to cover up his failures.”

It is frightening that state now looms far larger in many parts of Britain than it did in former Soviet states such as Hungary and Slovakia as they emerged from communism in the 1990s, when state spending accounted for about 60% of their economies.

The large-scale layoffs seen at Northern Rock (1,500 jobs lost) and Nissan announcing three weeks ago that it was to cut its workforce in Sunderland by 1,200, will mean an increase in benefits payements. Those who are finding new jobs are finding jobs in the public sector, according to One North East, the state development agency. One of the biggest public sector employers in the northeast is the Department of Work and Pensions, which employs 13,400 there, hundreds of them in jobcentres. My brother is working for the DWP in Washington and frankly some of the stories he has told me - which I did relay to Chris Grayling when he was Shadow Minister for Works and Pension - of the waste and actual overfunding in the sector appalled me.

We need to find ways to cultivate new and small businesses in the North East, the Labour Party has done nothing to help small businesses. All they have done is increase bureaucracy and "hand out" culture. Conservatives have pledged to scrap form filling rebates available for small businesses, to try to give our businesses the support they need at this very difficult time.


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