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750 more jobs gone as Halifax retail banking closes

9 February, 2010


Speaking today after the announcement by Bank of Scotland Ireland to close its Halifax retail banking business, with the loss of 750 jobs Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Deputy Arthur Morgan has said the Government’s priorities are distorted in favour of bailing out banks putting the State in a vulnerable position.

Deputy Morgan said:

“The Government is making huge efforts to resuscitate an ailing banking sector, but 750 jobs are being lost because of the closure of the Halifax retail banking business. More than ever we are seeing how distorted Government priorities, in favour of bailing out the banks, has put the people of this State in a vulnerable position.

“It was announced in July last year that Halifax would be closing down its operations in Ireland, following direct orders from the British treasury. What I would like to know is what the Government were doing over the past few months to negotiate with both their counterparts in Britain and in Halifax to prevent this from happening.

“Furthermore, at a time of harrowing unemployment, given that these job losses were forecast, what measures were the Government and most particularly the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment taking to pre-empt these job losses and make transitory preparations to get these 750 people into training and education immediately.

“The imminent loss of 130 jobs in Dundalk is particularly severe following the announcement last week of 200 jobs likely to be lost at Bi-tech engineering in Dunleer.

“The people of this State need a Government that is proactive not passive; one that will take initiative and show leadership, rather than show indifference to the great unemployment crisis facing the country.” ENDS

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