TORY ministers have announced they are to shut several Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offices in Scotland.

As part of a raft of closures across the UK, shutters will be pulled down at offices in Springburn in Glasgow, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Bathgate, Falkirk, Clydebank, Stirling and Aberdeen.

According to the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, more than 100 jobs in Kirkcaldy and 64 in Aberdeen could be impacted as both sites are set to close without alternatives for staff on offer. 

More than 500 could be hit across Clydebank and Falkirk, another 139 are at risk in Springburn and 48 posts could be impacted in Stirling. 

Across the UK, more than 40 centres are set to be closed and around 12,000 employees are to be moved to different sites.

The UK Government has said no public-facing roles will be affected, but it will be moving some back office staff to "better" offices. It claims there is no plan to reduce the headcount.

Raising an urgent question about the closures at Westminster, SNP work and employment spokesperson Chris Stephens (below), said: “Can the minister confirm that the announcement could mean 3000 jobs at risk of redundancy in the Department of Work and Pensions?

"And what measures is he going to ensure that this does not happen?”

The National: SNP work and employment spokesperson, Chris StephensSNP work and employment spokesperson, Chris Stephens

Work and Pensions minister David Rutley replied: “In terms of our plans, we, as I said, have been working very closely with colleagues and with PCS over recent months."

“There are going to be around 12,000 colleagues who will be moving from one site to another in close proximity, around 28 sites involved there.

“In terms of colleagues that will be affected where there is no other strategic site nearby, there are around 1300 colleagues that could be involved.”

The National: David Rutley said there would be around 12,000 colleagues moving from one site to anotherDavid Rutley said there would be around 12,000 colleagues moving from one site to another

Stephens, MP for Glasgow South West, has since called for the planned closures and redundancies to be categorically ruled out.

He blasted the "rank hypocrisy" of the closures in high-risk areas so soon after the release of the UK Government’s "levelling up" white paper.

“The same key workers the UK Government praised and clapped for during the pandemic are now facing the axe in the latest round of callous Tory cuts," said Stephens.

"With two of the centres set to face the axe in Glasgow, many of my constituents will be impacted.

“With all the Tory rhetoric of ‘levelling up’, it stinks of rank hypocrisy to now be closing dozens of offices and scrapping thousands of jobs, many of which are in high economic deprivation areas.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon tears into Tories' 'breathtaking hypocrisy' over Scottish justice

“These closures come at the most brutal of times, with a cost of living crisis biting and massive cuts to social security placing even more pressures on already stretched family finances.

“The best thing the UK Government can do for all concerned is put the interests of hardworking staff and DWP service users first and categorically rule out any closures and redundancies.”

On Twitter, Paul Sweeney, Labour MSP for Glasgow and shadow public finance and employment minister, described the news as "devastating".

He said: "This proposed list of DWP office closures includes Springburn in Glasgow, with the loss of 139 jobs in one of the most deprived districts of our city."

"At a time when demand for social security services is higher than ever, the closure of the Springburn site will be devastating."

A number of MPs asked about how the issue could affect their constituencies but Rutley did not provide details, saying they were engaging with staff “as we speak”.

A UK Government spokesman said: “As part of plans to improve the services we deliver to claimants, help more people into employment and modernise public services, DWP is moving some back office staff to better, greener offices, which will not affect any public-facing roles.

“This is not a plan to reduce our headcount – where possible, our colleagues in offices due to close are being offered opportunities to be redeployed to a nearby site, or retrained into a new role in DWP or another government department. We are making every effort to fully support our staff through this process.”