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Southern benefits office closes today

Treasury closes Port Erin office amid staff safety concerns

The Treasury is closing its Port Erin Social Security office today (21 July) forcing claimants to travel to Douglas to sign on instead.

Civil servants have branded the premises unsafe following a risk assessment in the wake of a member of staff in Ramsey being threatened.

But there’ll be no help with travel expenses for the 80 or so benefits claimants who’ll now have to go to Markwell House in Douglas to sign on every fortnight.

Bill Henderson MLC, political member of the Treasury with responsibility for Social Security, says checks were carried out after an incident in Ramsey during which a member of staff was threatened with violence.

Mr Henderson says the Port Erin office has just one way in and out, giving staff no way of escape if they’re threatened.

He says the move will inconvenience claimants but says while they’re in Douglas, they can also visit the Jobcentre.

And he added it’s possible if other premises can be found, a new office could open, reinstating services in the South.

The Treasury says it expects all jobseekers to visit the Jobcentre in person anyway – and people living in Peel already have to travel to the capital to sign on.

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