- 10 January 2018
New DWP Minister has chance to change course
The SNP has made a last-ditch call for the Tories to halt their plans to close job centres across Scotland – with the Maryhill site set to shut its doors for the final time on Friday.
The chaos of Theresa May's bungled cabinet reshuffle has led to Esther McVey becoming the new DWP Secretary and Alok Sharma become Minister for Employment – and cross-party representatives across Glasgow have united to call on the new Ministers to halt the planned cuts of their predecessors with a joint letter to Mr Sharma.
The Tories' callous policies are set to see half of the job centres in Glasgow close as part of damaging cost-cutting measures that fail to take into account the impact on local communities and those that use the service. Tory welfare cuts have already forced millions of people into poverty, with the number of people relying on foodbanks skyrocketing since 2010.
Commenting, SNP MSP Bob Doris, who represents the Maryhill job centre, said: "The plans to take an axe to Scotland's job centre estate proves just how out of touch and damaging the Tory government is.
"The closure of the Maryhill job centre in my constituency will have a devastating impact on the local community and those who rely on easy access to this service.
"Although it is back to the future at the DWP with Esther McVey returning to the department where she previously implemented huge cuts, the new Secretary and her Ministers have a chance to change the policies of their predecessors and halt these cuts – and the letter to Mr Sharma from cross-party representatives across Glasgow shows the strength of feeling against the closures.
"People in Maryhill and across the country are already bearing the brunt of Tory welfare cuts – with foodbank use rising, Tory cuts forcing people into homelessness and hundreds of thousands of children being driven into poverty.
"It's time for the Tories to end the disastrous cuts to public services that are proving so damaging to communities – and crucially, keep our job centres open."