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Save Carlisle Benefit Centre 19/12/2011

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.

The government announced in May the intention to close Carlisle Benefit Centre in 2012, along side a further 17 benefit centres as part of an office closure programme.

Only 5% of the staff at Carlisle can be redeployed within reasonable travelling distance. This means up to 130 experienced benefit processors at the site could be made redundant. This is the worst affected site for redeployment due to its rural location. DWP refuse to provide plausible justification for its closure which results from the government’s austerity plans.

Jobcentre Plus has already cut more than 10,000 staff since 2009 and the decision to close more offices will mean more delays in processing claims. This decision to close Carlisle comes at the same time when hundreds of thousands public sector workers are expected to lose their jobs, with an anticipated similar knock-on effect in the private sector.

An Office for Budget Responsibility report prepared for the budget in March forecast unemployment will be higher throughout 2012 than it was at the beginning of this year. Unemployment is rising still, and rising faster in the Lancashire and Cumbria area than elsewhere in the North West. DWP need experienced benefit processors to ensure the sick and the unemployed receive their payments and the help they need.

The loss of 150 to jobs to Carlisle will damage the local economy. Putting DWP workers on the dole queue rather than have them carry out valuable work and invest their wages into local businesses will hurt the people of Carlisle.

Instead of cutting jobs, the government should be investing in public services like these to help get people back to work more quickly and help our economy to get back on track.

Please sign the petition here



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