THERE are more people out of work than at any time in the past 17 years.
There are more people aged 16 - 24 without a job than at any point since records began.
Inevitably, this means there are more people claiming benefits in order to pay for food, heating, and housing.
There are more people working part-time, fewer taking early retirement, and fewer mums who can afford to stay at home to raise their children.
It doesn't really matter what your personal politics are, because left, right, or raving loony you should be able to see that these things do not add up to anything good.
In fact logic tells you that unless it improves fairly radically the cost to the state in terms of welfare, crime levels, poor health and social problems will be greater and have far more wide-reaching effects than bailing out the banks in the first place, which is what has led to our current plight.
Perhaps we should have let the banks fail; perhaps it was better to avoid that. Who can say?
There is one truth that is absolutely unavoidable and does not relate in the slightest to politics.
This is that 8.4 per cent of the people here are out of work:
And 100 per cent of the people in here are not:
MPs earn £65,738 a year, plus expenses, which works out to around £180 a day.
The maximum Jobseekers' allowance available to someone over 25 is £3,510 a year, which works out to around £9.61 a day.
I can't help thinking that if we switched the rates of pay around, the feckless, lazy scroungers who leech off the state might pull their bloody finger out and do some work.
And the ones without jobs might do better as well.