Tax bankers to pay for job placements, says London Assembly’s John Biggs

A tax should be levied on bankers’ bonuses—to pay for work placements for youngsters to prevent another ‘lost generation.’

That’s the call by London Assembly budget chairman John Biggs, who represents east London with one of the country’s highest youth unemployment rates.

There are more than 11,000 jobless youngsters in Tower Hamlets alone—Britain’s most deprived borough which also includes the affluent Canary Wharf financial district at one end and borders the City of London at the other.

“It was the bankers’ who got us into this mess,” said Mr Biggs. “It’s about time they paid their fair share to help young people who are bearing the brunt of a recession they did nothing to cause.

“I am calling for a tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund work placements for young people.”

There are now more than 235,000 people looking for work in London, a rise of nearly 10 per cent compared to last year, according to January’s unemployment figures released last Wednesday.

The dole queue now stretches past 11,000 in Tower Hamlets alone, a quarter being under 24.

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“We saw youth unemployment in the 1980s and 90s sky-rocket and a lost generation,” Mr Biggs added. “We must stop that happening again.”

The figures showed 55,410 people out of work across London were under 24, including 16,655 who have been unemployed for more then six months. London had almost 33,000 vacancies—but seven job-seekers vying for each one.