The Department for Work and Pensions wants to reduce the size of its estate by 20% but close 50% of Jobcentre Plus sites in Glasgow.
“The Department for Work and Pensions has plans to cut the estate by 20%. What the DWP is planning to do to Glasgow is to cut it by 50%. Why is this government planning to disproportionately cut vital Jobcentres in some of the most deprived communities in our country?”
Angus Robertson MP, 7 December 2016
The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed to us that reports of Jobcentre Plus closures in Glasgow are true.
BBC Scotland reports that eight of the 16 Jobcentre Plus offices in Glasgow are to be closed. The DWP says that there should be no job losses, and that benefits claimants won’t have to travel for more than four miles or for longer than 40 minutes to an office.
It’s also correct that, under plans announced in November 2016, the DWP is aiming to occupy “20% less estate” nationally. This comes on top of a 17% reduction in the last parliament, according to Civil Service World.
The comparison isn’t quite exact: the 20% reduction in the DWP’s buildings could conceivably include back offices, not just Jobcentre Plus facilities.
David Lidington, standing in for the Prime Minister, said that the important thing is “not the raw number of offices that there should be, but about how accessible the offices and the services which they provide continue to be for the people who need to use them”.
This factcheck is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions. Read the roundup.