London, November 19, 2017.
British Chancellor Philip Hammond Sunday claimed the “economy has become a jobs factory” and “there are no unemployed people in the United Kingdom.”
Leading British newspaper slammed the Conservative Party member terming his comments made during a television interview a “spectacular gaffe”.
In a discussion on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Hammond tried to draw comparisons with the IT revolution of the 80s and 90s when discussing the potential impact of driverless cars on British employment in the future.
“It’s a simple choice: either we embrace change or we try to hide from change and we allow ourselves to slip behind,” he said. “I remember 20 years ago we were worried about what would happen to a million shorthand typists in Britain as the personal computer took over. Nobody has a shorthand typist these days.”
“Where are all these unemployed people? There are no unemployed people. We have created 3.5 million jobs since 2010. This economy has become a jobs factory.”
According to official statistics, however, there are approximately 1.42 million unemployed people in Britain, with many more struggling to work enough hours to support themselves.
Hammond faces a difficult budget on Wednesday as economic forecasts for a post-Brexit UK take a darker and darker turn. The Chancellor is also under fire from within his own party, much the same as Prime Minister Theresa May, as many Brexiteers believe he’s not fully committed to leaving the EU.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s view of the economy, published by a section of the British media yesterday, rubbishes Chancellor Hammond’s statements.
Carney is reported to have said Britain has dropped in the league of G7 and its annual retail sales too have dropped.
Official data shows UK’s unemployment is rate has dropped to a 42-year low and the jobs market looks good. Although the Brexit slowdown continues, UK’s GDP grew by 0.4%. The country’s growth rate has accelerated over the last three months.