Nearly 100 jobs to be lost in Newry

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info@newrytimes.com
Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Business, Community, News
Nearly 100 people will lose their jobs in Newry after it was announced today that HMRC offices in Newry will close in December 2015. The Newry office is one of 14 offices throughout the UK which will be closed and 93 people in the local area will lose their job. A spokesperson for the HMRC insisted they would help and support staff in job searches in other HMRC offices and it is understood that voluntary redundancy will be offered to those unable to find work elsewhere. “In line with our spending review settlements, HMRC is continuing to reduce in size, to become more highly-skilled and to operate from fewer locations,” the statement continued. “We are also changing the way we work to better meet the rising expectations of our customers and help them ensure they get things right. “Today, we have confirmed the date of 14 office closures, which we announced to staff in June after sharing the likelihood of closure last autumn, and announced further reductions in the number of administrative roles, as a result of increased automation and digitisation. “We remain committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies wherever possible, but as the scope for redeployment reduces, it will become increasingly difficult to avoid this,” the Spokesperson added.

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley reacted angrily to the news

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley MLA described the confirmation from HMRC to close its Newry base as ‘a devastating blow to the employees concerned’ and to the economy locally. Bradley reacted angrily to the news saying, “Today’s news from HMRC is devastating blow to the people employed in Newry and the local economy; our thoughts are with those employees this evening. “Unfortunately this news was not unexpected as we have rightly feared this was always the intention of HMRC no matter what the organisation or its Ministers in London say. “From the outset the staff and their union representatives have been deeply suspicious of HMRC’s intentions. Indeed both Margaret Ritchie MP and I have been highlighting their concerns right throughout this process,” he insisted. “We believe their consultation process with staff has been deeply flawed and this decision will impact part-time and female workers the most. “Even in today’s announcement HMRC continue to add insult to injury by implying they indent to seek alternative employment for the Newry staff in other HMRC locations and the Civil Service whilst they know that is not possible because of different employment statuses of HMRC Staff and the Northern Ireland Civil Service.” The local MLA said he and Margaret Richie met with the Treasury Minister David Gauke MP in London to argue the case for Newry. “Despite our best efforts the Government, despite all their pledges to help rebalance the economy here and to make work pay, have slashed jobs and brought the work back to England. “I am extremely angry and deeply frustrated at this decision and indeed the way the whole process has been handled and for this reason Margaret Ritchie and I are seeking a meeting with David Cameron on this issue. Bradley added, “He cannot speak out of both sides of his month, in the one hand say he wants to support the Northern Ireland economy and in the other hand pull jobs out of Newry, his stance just doesn’t add up.”

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