MP condemns move to axe Jobcentres

Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald has joined the Church of Scotland in condemning the axing of Langside and other Jobcentres.

The MP attacked the controversial cost-cutting move as “another example of the callous disregard that Theresa May’s government has for Scotland”.

The SNP man welcomed the UK Government’s climb-down on its aim to close Castlemilk Jobcentre, but says he’s “deeply sorry” he and other opponents of the cuts were unable to save Langside and five other Jobcentres.

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Meanwhile the Kirk has slammed the decision as “a disgrace” and “something we should all be ashamed of”.

Mr McDonald earlier said the Department of Work and Pensions would be in breach of its own guidelines if the closures went ahead.

These say an alternative must be within 15 minutes’ by public transport and within three miles of a closed office.

Mr McDonald said: “Now, more than ever, our Jobcentres need to remain open and local, but they must find a renewed purpose in supporting Glaswegians who need them most.”

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He said that could be, for example, helping those who need to find meaningful work that pays a decent wage for a fair day’s work.

They could also help disabled and vulnerable people access the social security and services that they are both entitled to, and deserve, he argued.

Pauline Edmiston, vice-convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society Council, said the decision ignores the needs of jobseekers, especially those who lack computer skills or do not have access to getting online – and would hit the poorest in society.