MP Mark Pawsey has been accused of having a “rose-tinted view” of the local economy.
It follows recently released unemployment statistics showing the number of people claiming benefits in the constituency had fallen by a whopping 65 per cent – with 642 people collecting out-of-work benefits during the past three months.
The Rugby and Bulkington MP said the figures – the lowest local unemployment rates since 2010 – were great news for local people and a clear indication that Britain was on the road to recovery.
But Rugby Labour Party was quick to dismiss Mr Pawsey’s claims as overly simplistic.
Coun Clare Edwards (Newbold and Brownsover), said the figures did not take into account those working on ‘zero hour’ or short term contracts and the job market was still extremely tough for struggling families.
She told The Observer: “I am sure there are lots of residents not recognising Mark’s rose-tinted view of the local economy.
“As a founder of the Newbold Job Club I know things are very tough for many families who are struggling to get jobs that are not zero hours, that last longer than six months, that still pay so badly they have to have two jobs to pay the bills, that rents are high and with no prospect of ever owning their own homes.
“And almost six per cent of young people not in employment – that’s nothing to be proud of.”
But Mr Pawsey said full-time, well paid jobs were on the rise.
He said: “Since the Conservatives entered Government in 2010, 2.5million more people are in work – two thirds of those jobs were full-time positions and legislation has been passed to ban exploitative zero hours contracts.
“Those on the lowest pay have seen their wages steadily rise, the National Minimum Wage has increased, the National Living Wage has been introduced and tax reforms have reduced income tax for millions of people.
“Here in Rugby, unemployment has fallen by 68 per cent and the number of young people not in work in Rugby has fallen by 48 per cent in the last year alone.”