Cuts Watch #276: Passport offices
PCS have today been informed that the passport office in Newport, South Wales, and the majority of the agency’s interview offices across the UK, will shortly close.
PCS report that the Newport closure will cost the area 250 jobs. They have also pointed out that the wider closures, of offices where first-time passport applicants go for interviews, will affect offices that were set up only a few years ago to prevent identity fraud.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Not only will this increase the risk of fraud, the Newport closure represents an attack on an area of the UK economy that is crying out for investment not cuts. These closures will lead to mass job losses at a time of rising unemployment, and we will do everything we can to reverse this outrageous decision.”
Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said: “I am extremely angry at the decision to close the Passport Office in Newport. It is frankly an absolute disgrace and a devastating blow to Newport so soon after last week’s Ryder Cup success. These job losses will have a huge impact on the local economy, with people in Wales now facing a journey of hundreds of miles to London or Liverpool for face-to-face service at the Passport Office.”