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250 passport office jobs 'lost'

Tuesday October 12th 2010

The shutting down of the passport office in Newport, South Wales, will result in the loss of 250 jobs, a union has said.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) warned that the closure of the office, as part of the public spending cuts, would have "devastating consequences" for the local economy.

It also said that several more jobs were in danger at interview offices across the UK, and warned that the closure would put national security at risk - as the offices play an important role in stopping passport fraud.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary, PCS, said: "The Identity and Passport Service is playing fast and loose with the security of the British passport by putting cuts before the needs of the public.

"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."

The announcement comes after Newport enjoyed worldwide attention due to the Ryder Cup golf tournament, which was hosted at the city's Celtic Manor resort.

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."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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