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George Osborne visits Watford Morrisons

 Published on: 9th December 2013   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury George Osborne paid a visit to Watford this morning. Mr Osborne visited the new Morrisons superstore in Ascot Road to talk to the new employees and see the store in action. The supermarket opened on November 25, creating hundreds of jobs for local young people. The Conservative politician’s visit came shortly after the government’s announcement to scrap employers’ National Insurance payments for under 21-year-olds. Many of Morrisons’ new staff are under 21 and Mr Osborne met with 15 of the new employees as well as layering sponge in the bakery and viewing the meats in the butchers. Mr Osborne told My Watford News: “Morrisons have just created 300 jobs here. There are fantastic opportunities for the young people employed here. Some were on jobseekers’ allowance just a few weeks ago and now they’ve underdone training and are very proud to be in work. I think that’s great.” The politician was keen to stress that the new plans will not put older jobseekers at a disadvantage. “The additional help we’ve provided now mans that that, for a company like Morrisons, taking on a young person will be even easier,” he added. “I was talking to Henry, the manager here, and he said ‘It wouldn’t make us less likely to employ someone who was 25 or 30, but it does mean it makes it even more advantageous to employ a young person’. “We know that as a country we’ve got a specific issue with young people being unemployed and we know that we don’t want to make the mistake that has been made previous times when recovering from a big economic problem like we’ve had – we leave the young people behind. I’m determined not to do that.” Mr Osborne said supermarkets such as Morrisons are playing a key role in helping the country out of the recession, by offering opportunities that did not previously exist. He said: “Supermarkets employ lots of people. They offer training and apprenticeships and real help for people. Lots of the young people here have found it difficult finding full time work and now they have been given an opportunity. “The brilliant local MP here Richard Harrington is one of the strongest members of parliament we’ve got in terms of the way he represents his constituency. He’s brought what he does locally trying to get young people into work to the attention of all the other MPs. Morrisons working with the government, and other retailers in the area, are going to bring about real opportunities for people who feel they haven’t had them.” The Chancellor of the Exchequer also took the time to comment on the state of Watford General Hospital, which is currently placing some patients in temporary cabins. He said: “The government is providing extra resources to help with the pressures of the A&E because more and more people are using it. “The second thing we can do is make sure that as Watford sorts out some of the problems that have built up during the last decade, they can go forward, hopefully get Foundation status, and get the resource they need for new facilities. “The good news is that, because we are fixing the public finances in this country, we’re able to prioritise the things that really matter to local people, like the health service. “We need to get into specific discussions with the new Chief Executive about what she needs and also what needs to be done at the hospital to make sure its finances are in order. Those conversations are happening now and we are here to make sure that the hospital has a great future.”

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