Nia Griffith and Lee Waters have condemned the Westminster Government’s decision to close the Llanelli benefits office despite being offered alternative space in the town by the Welsh Government.
“This is Tory dogma in action. The Department for Work and Pensions have been determined to close the Llanelli office now matter what” Nia Griffith, MP for Llanelli, said.
The closure will result in the loss of 146 jobs in the centre of Llanelli of staff dealing with sickness benefit claims, work capability assessments and crisis loans. These are not Job Centre roles but so-called ‘back of house’ functions.
Nia Griffith and Lee Waters met with Department of Work & Pensions Minister of State Damien Hinds in Whitehall in April to press the case for keeping jobs in Llanelli.
“We fought hard to get the DWP to change their mind. We worked with carmarthenshire Council to secure the offer of alternative offices in Llanelli, and even got the Welsh Government to offer free office accommodation to keep these jobs locally, but the Tory Minister didn’t want to know” said Llanelli AM Lee Waters.
The DWP’s plan to move jobs to Cardiff flies in the face of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy which says it wants to spread prosperity across the UK. We fail to see how taking jobs from one of the most deprived parts of Wales to one of the most successful parts helps with that” Nia Griffith added.