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MPs attack DWP closure plans ahead of PCS lobby 20/03/2017

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.

MPs have again attacked the government’s plans to close more than 1 in 10 jobcentres, just days before a PCS national lobby of parliament on 28 March to oppose the closures.

During a backbench debate yesterday (16 March), called by PCS parliamentary chair Chris Stephens, a number of MPs from across the country criticised the government’s plans announced in January which put thousands of jobs at risk and would mean unemployed people having to travel further to get help getting back to work. A number of MPs had previously blasted the plans as “an attack on the vulnerable” in a Commons debate in January.

Members and supporters across the country have already emailed their MPs to urge them to join the lobby in committee room 16, Houses of Parliament (St Stephen’s gate entrance) Westminster, but we need as many people as possible to turn up to a public meeting at 1pm on the day and lobby their MPs from 2-4pm. If you have never attended a Lobby of Parliament before PCS will be on hand on the day to provide support.

Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley, Labour) highlighted the fact that workloads for DWP staff have been increasing for years.

“It is claimed, on the government website, that the decisions are due to the claimant count reducing and the number of digital interactions increasing, and the fact that 20% of the DWP estate is underutilised,” she said.
“To take those one by one, it may be the case that the claimant count is falling, but I do not think that anyone could tell jobcentre staff anywhere in the UK that their workload has reduced in the past 7 years and is likely to continue to reduce — not least because of the rollout of Universal Credit, which is incredibly complex.”

Read the article in full  here.



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