SDLP and Sinn Fein unite to save 134 Newry jobs
MP Conor Murphy says he will be meeting Tory Minister David Gauke to press him on the decision to close HMRC offices in Newry, Enniskillen and Derry.
Speaking to Newry Times, Murphy said, “Given that the job losses affect Newry, Eniskillen and Derry myself and Michelle Gildernew have contacted fellow MPs Mark Durkan and Margaret Ritchie to arrange a joint meeting with Treasury Minister David Gauke who is responsible for HMRC.
“The Public and Commercial Services Union which is representing the staff are supportive of this joint approach. The request has been submitted to Mr Gauke and we await his reply.
“Responsibility for Revenue and Customs rests with Westminster so while it is welcome that the Assembly is debating the topic on Monday we also need to influence the decision makers at Westminster to ensure this decision is reviewed.”
Sinn Féin Assembly Member Mickey Brady also spoke of his alarm at the intention of HMRC to close its Newry branch. “This decision became public [knowledge] as a fait accompli, with no discussion or thought for the 134 Newry staff this will impact on.
“I am concerned that there was no staff consultation and I would like to know details of HMRC protocols on matters such as this.
“This closure will affect border constituencies in a disproportionate manner and it is possible that women and part time workers will also be disproportionately affected. HMRC employs in excess of 20,000 staff, there is no reason why these redundancies could not have been absorbed by the whole organization.
Brady added, “I will be using the Assembly debate on Monday to call on HMRC to carry out an equality impact assessment and to halt these closure plans. HMRC must think of their staff as real people who are now left with huge financial worries over the Christmas period.”
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