AN East Lancashire MP has claimed a Labour government would guarantee jobs for young people.

Labour whip Graham Jones said the number of people aged 18 to 24 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than a year has rocketed from 28,300 in 2010 to 56,100 currently.

Mr Jones said: “We cannot afford to waste the talents of thousands of young people and leave them stuck on the dole for years on end.

“It scars their lives, weakens our economy and adds billions to the social security bill.

“The next Labour government will get young people and the long-term unemployed in Haslingden and Hyndburn off benefits and into work through a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee.

“The Jobs Guarantee will give every young person out of work in Haslingden and Hyndburn for more than 12 months a paid starter job which they will have to take up or lose their benefits.”

Labour said the £1 billion cost of the scheme would be funded by reversing the government’s decision to stop tax relief on pension contributions for people earning more than £150,000 being limited to 20 per cent.