UK government urged to re-think Remploy decision

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Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing today called again for the UK Government to rethink its position on the future of Remploy sites in Scotland.

Mr Ewing made the case to consider alternatives to immediate sale or closure of the five remaining factories in Scotland at a meeting with Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith at Westminster.

Following the meeting with the Secretary of State, Esther McVey, the Minister for Disabled People,  Scottish MPs, Fife Council and Trade Union representative,  Mr Ewing said:

“I welcome the support of Gordon Brown and Lindsay Roy expressed at today’s meeting for their constituents in Fife.  This adds to the already significant support across Scotland for Remploy staff.

“The commitment of the UK Government to look again at the terms of the sale process and to consider what further flexibilities may be available to support buyers is a positive step.  The Scottish Government  has put in place support for potentials bidders and for any staff who are made redundant.  We will of course ensure that our support aligns with any changes in the UK Government’s offer.

“The Scottish Government has repeatedly called on the UK Government to think again on the future of Remploy. The timing and manner in which funding has been withdrawn from these factory sites is unhelpful in securing a viable future for the remaining Remploy businesses in Scotland.

“Across the Scottish Parliament, there is agreement that the timescales being imposed by DWP mitigate against a successful outcome.  In recent weeks local authorities, trade unions and MSPs have called for a delay on the sale or closure of Remploy sites to allow alternative plans to be developed for all of the remaining Remploy businesses and I made that point again to the Secretary of State today.

“I look forward to today’s meeting being the start of a more productive approach from the UK Government to securing the future of the Remploy workforce in Scotland.”