Closure of Crossmaglen Jobs and Benefits Office angers Brady
Sinn Fein MLA Mickey Brady has commented on the news that the rental contract for the Jobs and Benefits office in Crossmaglen is not to be renewed after April, saying if this office is to close it will have a devastating effect on to the community.
“Following the statement made by my colleague Terry Hearty regarding the possible closure of the Crossmaglen benefits office because of the rental agreement not being renewed, I made contact with the Social Security Office.
“I was informed that they have been carrying out a review of the three community offices in the six counties and the report of this review is due for release in the coming week. Unfortunately for the many users of the Crossmaglen office there is a strong possibility that it will close.
“If this is the case I have no doubt the closure would have a devastating effect on the people from south Armagh who use this facility. This particular office provides a vital and important service to the people who rely on it.
“This raises the issue of people having to acquire travel to and from Newry, will be the closest Social Security Office for these people, to deal with benefits issues. I would argue that public transport arrangements at present would not suit everybody who would need to travel.
“On top of this we are in the middle of welfare reform and more people will need to talk to benefits advisers in relation to their claims and not being able to do this locally will cause untold misery and hardship for people.
Brady added, “I am calling on the Minister and the Social Security Agency to strongly rethink this decision and to recognise how important this office is to the people of Crossmaglen and the surrounding area and indeed the Newry Armagh constituency.”
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