The Department of Work and Pensions’ plan to close Grangemouth job centre has been met with a furious response from the town’s MSP.
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald was alarmed to learn of the DWP’s UK wide proposals for reducing office space to cut costs. It aims is to shut 134 job centres in total across the UK and a number of what the DWP refer to as “back offices”.
He urged the DWP to rethink its plans, which would see Grangemouth Jobcentre closed before March 2018.
Mr MacDonald said: “I am angered to hear of the plans to close the job centre in Grangemouth – which will have a severe impact on our local communities. With Grangemouth being the only local job centre in my Falkirk East constituency, it provides a vital service to those looking for work.
“Closure will result in already hard-up people being forced to travel further at a higher cost in order to access vital job searching services. This latest round of ideologically driven Tory cuts is targeted at the most vulnerable people in our society – and completely betrays the Tories’ claims that they are attempting to get people into work.
“How can they possibly be getting people into work if they are closing the services that people need to develop the skills and knowledge to be successful applicants, and taking away a vital resource where jobs can be found?
“It was always felt that the earlier announcement of closures in Glasgow was simply the tip of the iceberg when it came to the Tories’ attempts to target our communities and it is with absolutely no joy that we have been proven right.
“I will work closely with my MP colleague for Falkirk East, Martyn Day, and the Scottish Government to fight these closures and resist this latest round of cuts in our community.
“I have written to the UK government’s Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green, seeking assurances over the future of job centres in Falkirk district after the deeply troubling news last month that eight of Glasgow’s 16 job centres were marked for closure – and these closures seem to be the tip of the iceberg, with more harrowing cuts, including Grangemouth set to be announced imminently.
“The local services must be retained, and I urge the Tory government to rethink these wrongheaded closures and to ensure providing front line services to support people into work is their priority.”