Politicians have met with Treasury Minister David Gauke to make as case for retaining jobs at the Newry office. SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie and Newry and Armagh MLA Dominic Bradley travelled to London recently amid fears raised earlier this summer of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) jobs based at Carnbane. In September a spokesperson for the HMRC told the Newry Reporter that while a spending review is underway and offices may close, Custom House in Newry was not one of the offices under review despite fears the staff at that Newry office was pegged for closure. A full announcement on HMRC’s review will be made in January. Following the meeting with Mr Gauke Ms Ritchie said that the SDLP’s delegation had made a case for the retention of services at Customs House and called for further services extending to the existing skills base. “We put it to the minister that Newry should be used as a one-stop-shop for the construction industry scheme to include processing work, a UK wide contact centre, registration and compliance work as it all makes good sense for all construction scheme services to be on the same site,” the south Down MLA said. Dominic Bradley MLA added that the public accounts committee had made a report to HMRC regarding the potential to increase value for money in the service and that the meeting had echoed this. “The minister is now well- briefed on the situation in Newry and I hope that it will have a positive impact on the announcement made in January 2012,” the Newry and Armagh MLA said. “We will be in further contact with the minister in the near future with a view of keeping him informed about the situation in Newry.
2nd November 2011