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War of words following fall in Bromley unemployment

PUBLISHED: 11:33 22 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:33 22 October 2015

Embargoed to 0001 Monday January 12 File photo dated 19/03/09 of a Job Centre Plus branch as the number of unemployed people not claiming jobseeker's allowance has passed a million for the first time, showing how many are "falling through cracks" in national work schemes, according to council leaders.

Embargoed to 0001 Monday January 12 File photo dated 19/03/09 of a Job Centre Plus branch as the number of unemployed people not claiming jobseeker's allowance has passed a million for the first time, showing how many are "falling through cracks" in national work schemes, according to council leaders.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Bromley labour leader responded to news that JSA claimants in Orpington had fallen

A war of words has broken out over figures showing unemployment in Orpington has fallen by nearly 30 per cent since last year.

The number of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants now rests at 452, 188 fewer people than September last year.

The 29 per cent fall puts Orpington within the top 125 constituencies in the country for economic activity.

Orpington MP Jo Johnson heralded the figures saying: “These figures are fantastic news for people in Orpington, many of whom will have more money and opportunities as a result.”

But Labour group leader for Bromley Council, Angela Wilkins responded: “I’m delighted people have secured jobs in the local area.

“However I can see why Mr Johnson would be talking about this, as the government is about to announce cuts to tax credits.”

Meanwhile the number of young people claiming JSA has dropped to under 100, with 70 fewer claimants than at this stage last year.

Mr Johnson added: “I welcome another drastic fall in youth unemployment, which is now at its lowest level for a decade. Evidenced by the figures, the economic plan that this government has advocated is creating a stronger national economy that is promoting more jobs and higher wages.”

Ms Wilkins however was critical of the statement: “I’d remind Mr Johnson that George Osborne hasn’t met his targets for cutting the deficit.

“In Bromley if you compare the average salary per month and the average rent, really we need to look at the rates of pay people are getting.”

Pete Sayonas from the Bromley Citizens Advice Bureau said: “I’m hopeful there are more people getting in to work, but I do think there are some people who are just giving up with using jobcentre plus.

“Having said that, there are a lot of services available to help people who may be struggling with mental or physical illness as they attempt to get back in to work.”

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