A TREASURY minister has defended unemployment figures that are the worst for 17 years.
The number of Britons without work soared by 114,000 to 2.56m between June and August.
The UK unemployment rate is now 8.1 per cent – its highest rate for 17 years.
But David Gauke, treasury minister and South West Herts MP, says his government is right to push ahead with public sector cuts.
And there will be no tax cuts at any time soon, he added.
He said: “If you do not have clear and credible plans to reduce the deficit, you put your whole economy at risk.”
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