‘HMRC consultation on Newry jobs a farcical stunt’ – SDLP
The SDLP have described a proposed twelve week consultation by HMRC as a farcical stunt by the agency and has questioned the British Governments real commitment to boosting the Northern Ireland Economy.
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie and Newry and Armagh Assembly Member Dominic Bradley MLA have reacted angrily to the proposals and have vowed to support the local workforce in Newry.
Speaking to Newry Times, Bradley explained, “Staff were brought together yesterday at the HMRC Office at Custom House in Newry and were told of plans to offer voluntary redeployment or voluntary redundancy in the coming months, which will no doubt be followed by compulsory redundancies after this ‘consultation’ exercise.
“In reality there are little or no opportunities for redeployment so HMRC are being dishonest from the outset. The bottom line is that HMRC and the British Government intend to close their operations in Newry either by stealth or by force,” he insisted.
“The SDLP fundamentally disagree with the approach HMRC is taking and see the proposed closure as driven purely by an unhealthy appetite to make cost savings at the expense of front line services.
“HMRC have already closed their Tax Office located in Downshire House on Merchants Quay and they have reduced the number of days the Enquiry Office is opened to three days per week on a part time basis.
“The closure of this facility will cut off vital personal support for pensioners, migrant workers, and disabled people including those with learning disabilities and both Margaret Ritchie and I have been to Westminster and brought this issue to the Treasury to express the our opposition to these proposals,” Bradley added.
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