The government has announced a radical new strategy to tackle rising job losses by increasing the amount of people killed on UK roads, thereby freeing up more jobs for the long-term unemployed.
A new study has shown government proposals to increase speed limits on motorways and dual carriageways could increase road deaths by as much as 20% and the government is hoping the resulting job vacancies could help so called NEETS – people who are Not In Employment Education or Training.
A government spokesperson explained:
Research has shown that each time speed limits have gone up there is a corresponding increase in dead or seriously injured people who can no longer work. The evidence is quite clear that when the speed limit increases on roads like motorways or dual carriageways, it’s going to have a positive effect on job creation.
The government’s announcement in October that it would consider a 10mph increase drew condemnation from road safety campaigners. But the then transport secretary, Philip Hammond, said the change would bring economic benefits through reduced unemployment.
Using the most widely accepted statistical models, an increase in average traffic speeds of 10mph would be expected to create 25 immediate job vacancies and result in more than 100 seriously injured drivers who would no longer be able to work.
The roads minister, Mike Penning, said the previous Labour government’s thoughtless enhancements of safety on British roads and irresponsible improvements in the design of cars by auto manufacturers had caused unemployment to rise more than 75% since the introduction of the 70mph limit.
The policy comes at a time when the government has faced increasing criticism that it is not doing enough to help the long-term young unemployed.
The government spokesperson said:
We are hoping some very attractive employment opportunities for young people will be made available by this policy. Obviously if you can afford a car, you won’t be a student and you probably have a job, therefore NEETS will benefit because they will be in a position to take up the jobs made available by the deaths and serious injuries of drivers. It shows the government is serious about tackling youth unemployment, and is doing whatever it can to solve the problem as quickly and as efficiently as possible, including developing a policy of killing, maiming and disabling car owners rather than reducing unemployment the much slower traditional way of actually creating real jobs by growing the economy.
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