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Sunday 6th May 2012 | 16:10
Iain Duncan Smith accuses Remploy staff of 'Just making cups of coffee'
Tories just don't get Scotland
SNP MSP Mark McDonald has condemned the 'disgraceful' comments made by Iain Duncan Smith regarding Remploy. Today's Sunday Express reports that the Work and Pensions Secretary accused Remploy employees of "not doing any work at all" and "just making cups of coffee", and told them to go out and try for a 'proper job'.
Remploy employs around 300 people in Scotland, and the UK Government has announced plans to close 4 of the 9 Scottish factories - in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Wishaw and Springburn.
Mr McDonald, together with Aberdeen MSPs Maureen Watt and Kevin Stewart have previously invited Maria Miller - Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions - to Aberdeen to see the work being done to develop a strong social enterprise hub at the factory site. To date, this invitation has been snubbed.
Mr McDonald, MSP for North East Scotland, said:
"These are disgraceful, insensitive remarks and Iain Duncan Smith should apologise.
"It's bad enough that the Tories are forcing these factories to close, but to then insult the work that the employees do beggars belief.
"The Tories just don't get Scotland. We have strong social enterprise networks north of the border, and the work being done in Aberdeen Remploy could be providing a blueprint for the future. Instead the Tories are pulling the rug out from under the business.
"They only have to look at the way Glencraft in Aberdeen has been re-opened thanks to a team effort from across the public and private sector.
"The Tories are clearly oblivious to the work being done by Remploy in Aberdeen to develop a social enterprise hub. It is vital they come to visit the Aberdeen site because they are basing their closure plans on flawed assumptions."
"Iain Duncan Smith's comments were heartless and totally unnecessary."