Ritchie’s concerns over Newry HMRC office closure plan

Margaret Ritchie
Margaret Ritchie

A delegation has met with the Equality Commission over plans to close the HMRC offices in Newry.

Margaret Ritchie, SDLP MP for South Down, said out of 110 staff affected by the proposal to shut it in December, 87 are female and “a significant number are from the Roman Catholic faith”.

She added that many of the women have caring responsibilities, and being redeployed to offices elsewhere is “not feasible”.

She said: “I welcomed the opportunity to meet with senior officials from the Equality Commission to demonstrate the unequal and unfair impact the closure of the HMRC offices will have on the community in Newry.

“The measures proposed by HMRC to mitigate the impact on staff are not reasonable or equal.

“The Equality Commission must be certain HMRC is taking reasonable measures to mitigate the impact on staff.

“By proposing staff move to other offices where opportunities are limited and commutes are often impossible is not a reasonable measure to mitigate impact.”