Job centre closures are wrong-headed

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (26 Jan) branded plans by the UK Government to close a raft of job centres and offices as wrong-headed.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to close seven job centres and eight administration sites, on top of plans announced last month to close eight job centres in Glasgow, a move that the city's Green MSP Patrick Harvie has been campaigning against.

Alison Johnstone, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

“The UK Government appears determined to punish the very people who need the most support in our society. They should be making it easier, not harder, to find employment.

"Not everyone has reliable access to the internet or can afford to make the numerous phone calls needed to speak to prospective employers. There's also the cost of travelling longer distances to job centres. It's simply wrong-headed.

"I'm also concerned at what this means for staff. These changes will be hugely disruptive and while the DWP says that most staff will have the option to relocate or take alternative roles, that won't suit everyone. Staff should not pay the price for UK Ministers' obsession with cutting back on social protections."

The affected locations are:

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