One in Ten Job Centres to Close as “Claimants go Digital”
1 in 10 to Close…
Following our warning that the Glasgow Jobcentre closures looked like the start of a wider programme, this flickered on the telly this morning…
Jobcentres are due to close under reforms to deal with “under-used” buildings, putting thousands of staff jobs at risk as benefit claimants move online.
One in ten centres in England, Wales and Scotland will shut, union officials have said, in a move that Labour called “reckless at best and perverse at worst”.
The Department for Work and Pensions said that four out of five claims for jobseeker’s allowance and 99 per cent of applicants for universal credit now submitted claims online. The number of redundancies would be small, it added.
Since this is the Times I recommend instead reading instead the Mirror report (a paper that stands up for us lot)
“Reckless” plans to slash millions from the welfare department’s bill by shutting Jobcentres across the country have been revealed.
The Department for Work and Pensions today announced it wants to merge staff and facilities from 78 smaller Jobcentre Plus offices into larger ones.
It wants to move another 50 into council or other similar offices to create “one-stop shops”, and shut 27 back offices.
The DWP insisted the move – carried out to slash its bills by £180m a year – would employ “under-used” buildings more efficiently.
But the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which represents DWP staff, warned jobless people will have to travel further to sign on – and claimed tho
The PCS union warned more than one in ten Jobcentres in England, Wales and Scotland was set to close.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Jobcentres provide a lifeline for unemployed people, and forcing them to travel further is not only unfair, it undermines support to get them back to work.
“We are opposed to these closures and will vigorously fight any attempt to force DWP workers out of their jobs.”
Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams branded the closures “reckless at best and perverse at worst”.
She added: “Only this government’s distorted austerity agenda could lead to such contradictory policies. Either the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing, or they are both acting together to make working people’s lives harder.
“This Tory Government’s decision to close Jobcentres across the country shows they are not serious about helping people to find decent, secure and well-paid work.”
It comes after previous plans to shut half the Jobcentre sites in Glasgow prompted fury from the PCS and SNP MPs.
The spur for the closures is that, ” because a 20-year contract for most of the DWP’s 900 sites with property firm Telereal Trillium expires in March 2018.“
The Macedonian News Factory has already issued its alternative facts:
A DWP source claimed a figure of thousands of job losses was “completely wrong” but estimated around 750 jobs were at risk.
A DWP source said help was available for vulnerable or disabled people who face travelling further for face-to-face appointments.
Mr Hinds added: “Where we are proposing closing a site we will take all possible precautions to minimise disruption for claimants, and vulnerable people will receive home visits and postal claims.”
In a statement issued by the DWP press team he said: “We will always make sure that people have the support they need to get into and progress within work, that’s why we are recruiting 2,500 more work coaches to help those who need it most.
“The way the world works has changed rapidly in the last 20 years and the welfare state needs to keep pace. As more people access their benefits through the internet, many of our buildings are under-used. We are concentrating our resources on what we know best helps people into work.
“The changes we’ve announced today will help ensure that the way we deliver our services reflect the reality of today’s welfare system.”
The Mirror publishes;
….a full list of Jobcentres earmarked to be “divested” – it’s thought in most cases this will mean moving its services into another Jobcentre nearby. Others not on this list are earmarked for ‘co-location’ in council or other offices. This list also does not include previously-announced closures or back office sites that are set to shut. For the full list please click the link above to the government’s website.
It’s already happening not just in Glasgow but elsewhere in Scotland,
More Scottish Jobcentre closures announced by UK Government (STV)
The cuts come in addition to the 13 Jobcentres closures, eight of them in Glasgow alone, announced last month by the DWP.
Two other Jobcentres, Lanark and Wick, will move into existing Jobcentres under the plans.The UK Government say the closures across the UK will save taxpayers £180m each year over the next decade.
- Inverness – DWP assessment centre
- Aberdeen, Greyfriars House – DWP administration centre
- Alexandria – Jobcentre
- Broxburn – Jobcentre
- Coatbridge – DWP administration centre
- Edinburgh, St Andrew Street – Jobcentre
- Glasgow Portcullis House – DWP administration centre
- Inverness, Church Street – Jobcentre and DWP administration centre
- Larkhall – Jobcentre
- Paisley, Lonend – DWP administration centre.
- Port Glasgow – Jobcentre
- Benbecula, Jobcentre
- Cumnock – DWP administration centre
- Glasgow, Corunna House – DWP administration centre
- Wick, Girnigoe – Jobcentre to move to Caithness House.
- Lanark – Jobcentre to move to South Lanarkshire Council office, South Vennel
It is said that ” four out of five claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance and 99% of applicants for Universal Credit submit claims online.”