Ronnie Cowan MP & Stuart McMillan MSP (SNP) have highlighted their anger and frustration with the decision by the UK Government and Department of Work and Pensions to close Port Glasgow Jobcentre.
In January 2017, the Minister for Employment, Damien Hinds MP announced a proposal to relocate the Jobcentre at 6 Scarlow Street, Port Glasgow, PA14 5EY to Greenock, 99 Dalrymple Street, Greenock, PA15 1QL.
Mr Cowan led an Urgent Question (30th Jan), in the House of Commons, to ask the UK Government to set out their proposals and why Port Glasgow jobcentre is to close. Alongside this, Mr Cowan has raised a number of written parliamentary questions on the subject.
Mr Cowan said:
“Today’s announcement by the Department of Work and Pensions to close Port Glasgow jobcentre is deeply disappointing and my initial thoughts are with the staff members who will lose their jobs. Alongside this, I am concerned that my constituents who receive welfare support will be adversely affected by these cuts to services.
“One of the first actions I took on my re-election was to write to the Minister for Employment to urge that he visits Inverclyde, to meet with me and other elected representatives, to discuss the jobcentre closures and also how PIP assessments are taking place in Glasgow, rather than Inverclyde. I hope he will take up my request and visit the area in the near future.
“This is purely a cost saving exercise for the UK Government and has little thought on the impact it will have on some of the most vulnerable people in Inverclyde.
“The SNP will be looking to ask questions of the Minister, in the chamber, on the closures and what this means for Scotland.”
Stuart McMillan MSP added;
“Like Ronnie, I am bitterly disappointed by the action taken by the UK government. Yet again the most vulnerable people in our society are being targeted to save money. I always thought that Jobcentres were there to help people back into work. Removing them seems very much like a step in the wrong direction.
‘Thankfully, the Scottish Government is gaining limited powers over the benefit system, but regretfully not over all areas. I am sure that the areas in which it does control will be designed to support people, with care and compassion at the centre of the system. All care and compassion seem to have been taken out of the UK system at present by a Conservative government driven more by ideology that doing what is right and fair.
‘I very much hope the Minister for Employment takes up Ronnie’s request and visits Inverclyde so he can speak directly to the people this decision will affect.”