Jobcentre Closures

Part of Committees – in the House of Commons at 9:41 pm on 5th February 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip 9:41 pm, 5th February 2018

Precisely; I think that point speaks for itself. Many of us have been for meetings with the Minister or his predecessors in Caxton House, which is owned and operated by Telereal Trillium. Why does the DWP not want to dispose of that asset, turn it into flats that could make a profit for the taxpayer, and ship all its staff and ministerial offices out to Canary Wharf, which would be considerably cheaper?

That question is legitimate, because there has been no guarantee that these closures are the end. If the Minister answers one question from me at the Dispatch Box, it should be this: what guarantee can he give that this is in fact the end, or will other jobcentres in Glasgow be under threat in a future round? Ministers have repeatedly said, “Well, Glasgow has more jobcentres per head of population,” but has anyone stopped to ask why that might be? Is it a legacy of the impact on the economy of the decades of misrule by the Conservatives that has required people to go to jobcentres? Is it to do with the geography and the nature of the city, which are some of the reasons that my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow East touched on? We are still seeking a whole range of reassurances from the Minister. What it boils down to is looking at the welfare system and the entire reform regime, and starting again from scratch.