07 Dec 2016

John Mason MSP has expressed his anger upon hearing that the Department of Work and Pensions are planning to close 8 of Glasgow’s 16 job centres with 2 of the closures taking place in Shettleston Constituency.


This comes on the day the Joseph Rowntree Foundation released its Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2016 report which shows that 21% of the UK’s population is now living in poverty. This has more than doubled from a decade before. Cuts to benefits were also identified as a factor in the increase in poverty with the report noting that “Increasingly, the social security system does not cover the full cost of essentials for those on low incomes, such as rent and council tax”.


Commenting, John said:


“I find it absolutely outrageous that the DWP are trying to make it even harder for those in the most deprived areas of our city to get the benefits they are entitled to. My office has already had to help claimants who have been forced to travel as far afield as Hamilton for their appointments. These kind of issues will only become more prevalent with this new scheme.


“The decision to close jobcentres in the East End like Bridgeton, Parkhead and Easterhouse shows a complete lack of understanding of the problems faced by these communities. Constituents will now need to travel further, making it even harder for them to access support and making it much more likely that they will fall foul of the merciless sanctions regime.


“As I understand it the decision to close these centres is also news for the staff working there. I am also calling upon the DWP to provide assurances that the proposed closures will not lead to a reduction in existing staff.


“I will be working closely with other SNP elected members across our city to do our best to stop Glasgow being used as a guinea pig for another round of Tory cuts to the most vulnerable.”