Wrexham MP Ian Lucas asked “To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid in redundancy payments to employees of Wrexham Remploy when it closed?” via a written question yesterday.
Esther McVey, who has previously worked in her family business of ‘demolition and site clearance’, and now Conservative MP for Wirral West plus Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions replied
“The Wrexham factory has not yet closed. Remploy have confirmed that the estimated total redundancy pay due for the Wrexham employees is approximately £808,000.
“A comprehensive package of support is available for all disabled individuals being made redundant as a result of the Wrexham factory closure.
“The Government has made £8 million available to fund the delivery of this support across the UK. This package will be available for individuals to access for up to 18 months following redundancy to help individuals to make the transition from working at Remploy to mainstream employment.”
Mr Lucas told Wrexham.com “I have been asking a series of written Parliamentary questions about the cost of the closure programme, as I am concerned that the Government are spending a large amount of money to force it through. While Ministers have said that cost is not an issue relating to the closure of Remploy – because they are doing it on principle – the mounting cost of these closures is of concern.”
41 disabled members of staff have been made redundant in the closure of Wrexham’s Remploy.
In 2007 Labour’s Peter Hain closed 28 of the UK’s then 83 Remploys, with Ian Lucas backing Wrexham’s to stay open – which it did. Back in September 2011 Ian Lucas warned of a ‘secret agenda’ to close Remploys (story here), and local protests against any closure forced Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to dodge in via a back door when he appeared in Glyndwr University (story here).
Transcripts of this, plus other Commons stuff can be found on Hansard if you want to see what your representatives are doing in Parliament.