South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has today (5th July) condemned the UK Government for its ‘shameful’ decision to close the Cumnock DWP centre, potentially costing hundreds of local jobs in the town.
The local contact and processing centre has been under threat since January when the UK Government put forward proposals to close a number of sites across the UK. Since then campaigners are being pressuring the Government to reverse this decision highlighting the services these centres offer, as well as their importance to the local economy in terms of jobs.
Colin Smyth MSP said:
“This decision is a devastating blow to Cumnock and the surrounding area, which has enough challenges when it comes to employment without the Government department that is supposed to help people find work, actually contributing to the loss of jobs. The UK government should be making it easier to help people get into the jobs market, not harder. The Tory cuts to social security and new sanctions for low-paid workers will only increase demand for centres like Cumnock, so it's reckless and utterly perverse for the Tory Government to go ahead with these closures. The scale of the job losses at the Cumnock Centre is likely to mean compulsory redundancies for some staff and that is frankly a shameful decision I will continue to oppose at every opportunity”.
“It seems that the first act of the area’s new Conservative MP is to preside over the sacking of loyal, hard working Government staff in an area already blighted by high unemployment. I challenge the new Tory MP and the areas Tory MSPs to publicly condemn this move and more importantly to stand up to the Tory Government and oppose these job cuts. They were elected to represent their constituents who now face unemployment because of their Tory Government’s decisions. The recent General Election means that Tories don’t have a majority. This will be big test of the new Tory MPs as they can stop these cuts by voting them down in Parliament. Local people will be watching their actions carefully.”