Ritchie dismayed by Treasury attitude to 134 Newry jobs
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie and SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley have raised the future of the Newry HMRC Centre during their meeting this morning with the Northern Ireland Minister Andrew Robathan.
Speaking following the discussion Ritchie stated, “The UK Government have made it fairly clear that the HMRC centre in Newry no longer features in their plans and their offer of an exit package to staff during a time of such uncertainty is deeply cynical.
“Unfortunately I heard nothing during my meeting with the Minister today that made me believe the UK government are rethinking this decision.
“I made the SDLP’s position on this absolutely clear and insisted that the UK government should be protecting jobs in our local economy rather than cutting them.
“If anything the Treasury should be expanding the operation of such centres to tackle tax avoidance and evasion which cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions per year.
“I was dismayed to hear in response to my previous parliamentary questions on the issue that Treasury Ministers or Senior Officials have never made an assessment visit to the Newry centre and that there are no plans to do so.
Ritchie added, “During the meeting Mr Robathan assured me that he would visit the centre which is a welcome move but it is absolutely vital that a Treasury Minister accompanies him to see first hand the vital work done by this service.”
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