Clarke concerned about social security system ‘shake-up’
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has voiced his concern regarding a major shake-up of the social security system across Northern Ireland, which according to Clarke is causing considerable anxiety for social security and Northern Ireland Housing Executive staff in the Down District area.
A government consultation is proposing to move staff from the Downpatrick, Ballynahinch, Newcastle and Kilkeel offices to Newry, Lurgan and Armagh and staff maintain this will effectively mean many of the mainly women affected will not be able to transfer to other workplaces. Administrative and social security officer grade staff are most affected.
Speaking to Newry Times, Clarke stated,
“It is an utter travesty that people are being faced with having to travel outside Down District, most of which are women with young families and living in rural areas. Expecting people to travel to Newry, Lurgan and Armagh from their present jobs at social security offices within Down District makes no sense.”
He added, “Senior Civil Service bureaucracy to remove and transfer public sector jobs from Down District and South Down, which has a very highly qualified public sector led economy, will be strongly opposed by all politicians from across the political spectrum within local and central Government.”
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