Following the Government’s decision to withdraw funding from Remploy it has been announced that the Oldham Remploy factory will close. I am appalled at this news. Quite simply this is the wrong plan at the wrong time. Unemployment in Oldham East and Saddleworth is high with more than 7 people currently chasing every job and long-term youth unemployment up by 288% in the last year. The Government’s back to work schemes are failing and the Government’s Work Programme is missing its targets for disabled workers by 75%.
I believe the Government’s closures are ill-planned and poorly thought through. I have pressed the Minister for Disabled People on the Oldham factory closure on several occasions and asked her for details of employers she would be speaking to regarding employment for Remploy workers. Needless to say this information has not been provided. Together with the local authority and Michael Meacher, MP for Oldham West and Royton, I will continue to press for support for Remploy workers in Oldham.