- 19 January 2017
Concern that proposals are just 'tip of the iceberg'
SNP MSP Bob Doris has condemned the UK government for "unacceptable and dangerous" cuts to job centres in Glasgow – following the news last month that the DWP was planning to close 50% of the city's job centre estate.
The DWP has been guilty of taking a callous and ideological approach to welfare since the Tories took office in 2010, and shows no signs of letting up – with the proposed closures of 8 of Glasgow's 16 job centres part of a nationwide cut of 20% of the job centre estate and simply the tip of the iceberg.
Mr Doris led a Members' Business debate on the closures today, in which he highlighted the threat the cuts pose to people's search for employment. He also condemned the DWP for failing to consult communities and service users before making the decision which will have a devastating impact on communities such as Maryhill.
It follows an SNP-led debate at Westminster, in which SNP MP's pressed the UK government for answers on the proposed closures, with Chris Stephens MP who closed the debate for the SNP, amongst the number of SNP MP's attending today's Holyrood debate.
Commenting after the debate, SNP MSP for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, Bob Doris, said: "The DWP's planned closures of job centres across Glasgow is a dangerous move which will negatively impact the lives of some of our most disadvantaged communities throughout Maryhill, Springburn and beyond – people they have not consulted.
"The Tory government has done absolutely nothing to mitigate our fears since the planned cuts were announced – being unable to provide any details of the number of people to be affected, and having failed to carry out any kind of equality impact assessment to see how groups such as single parents, carers or those with disabilities would be impacted by the closures.
"These closures will hit vulnerable people who struggle to access services the hardest – with increased transport costs and additional time taken to travel, particularly those required to register daily or weekly. That increases the threat of sanctions, which is a serious concern.
"It is clear that the decision is being driven by the UK government's ideological obsession with austerity – and it is deeply concerning that these closures represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tory cuts. And it is the SNP who are standing up to these cuts at both Holyrood, Westminster, and through the Scottish Government.
"The Tory government must think again about these proposed cuts."
During the SNP-led debate at Westminster, SNP MP Chris Stephens said:
"The plan to close 50% of the jobcentres in Glasgow is a moral outrage. Some 68% of the people in Glasgow in receipt of jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance and universal credit will be impacted by the closures.
"The cost of the jobcentre closures will be borne by the people the Government should be assisting."