Today I met the head of the Regional Development Agency.... I am not a fan of "Regional" organisations but she asked me to mull over two sets of numbers. I pass them on to you.
1. In the East of England £5 million is being spent every day on unemployment benefits;
2. Someone earning £30,000 a year contributes £16,000 a year to the exchequer. If they become unemployed they take out £18,000 per year.
Looking at figures in this way is very blunt edged - the real implications of losing one's job are much more than just monetary, maybe others would interperet this data differently - but these numbers certainly get the brain cells in perspective..
I also met the Chamber of Commerce leader in Cambridgeshire... who sent me away with a long reading list on the cost of bureaucracy and promsies to help me meet his counterparts in other counties.
tomorrow I will be meeting a co-operative of local farmers, speaking at a fundraising lunch and then catching up with one of our bigger county council leaders