THE Chancellor of the Exchequer praised local Labour MPs Derek Twigg and Mike Hall for making employment a priority in the Halton area.
Unemployment has dropped from 5,083 to 2,217 in the borough since 1997 and Mr Brown believes that by continuing the party's policy on the New Deal the figure will drop even further.
Weaver vale MP Mike Hall said: 'When I became an MP I said that jobs and unemployment would be a priority for me and for people in Halton. New official figures show that there are 227,000 more people in the North West in work now than there were in 1997.'
Derek Twigg, MP for Halton, also supported expanding the New Deal saying: 'This Labour Government is committed to full employment, to offering employers free skills training for every employee which needs it and expanding the New Deal. Since 1997, 1400 young people in Halton have found work through the New Deal, cutting local long-term youth employment by 85%.' Mr Brown said: 'Derek Twigg and Mike Hall are right to make jobs a priority in Halton. Employment is at record levels. If we are to continue to succeed in the global economy we need more people in work, not fewer.
'The Labour Government will extend the New Deal not scrap it.'