Tory MP accuses PM over Evesham sackings

Peter Luff, the MP for Mid Worcestershire, writes to Gordon Brown
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Conservative MP Peter Luff (pictured) has written an open letter to the Prime Minister, holding him personally responsible for the 150 redundancies announced last Friday at stricken PC maker Evesham Technology.

His letter follows Evesham chairman Richard Austin's claims that the axing, by Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor, of the Home Computing Initiative (HCI) was a primary reason for Evesham's financial woes and hence the current situation.

He begins his letter, dated 8th: "Speaking during the Finance Bill debates [in the House of Commons] last year, I said, 'Alas, the evil that the Chancellor has done by abolishing the excellent scheme will live on. Jobs will be lost. There is an HCI industry and companies had invested large sums of money in developing marketing initiatives, in the expectation that it would run for at least an extra two years.'"

"Sadly, very sadly, I have been proved right," he continues. "I have just learned that 150 jobs have been lost from Evesham Technology because of your precipitate decision to end this scheme, without warning or consultation.

"There is nothing you can do or say to make the situation any better. I just wanted you to know that you are to blame for 150 P45s, 150 ruined lives, 150 job losses that were completely avoidable. And these were high technology jobs of precisely the kind my constituency needs.

"The blame rests with you and you cannot say you were not warned. The industry warned you, other government departments warned you, MPs warned you, yet you pressed ahead and did great damage. It is all so very sad."

Meanwhile, the GMB union continues its presence at the Evesham offices, where yesterday it observed newly appointed 'agency staff' arriving, presumably to do the jobs of the recently sacked permanent staff.

Martin Hird, senior organiser with GMB, commented "It is an outrage that the company has employed agency workers just days after dismissing employees who are still owed wages and holiday pay. They have received no notice pay or redundancy payment and the company now brings in outside labour to do their work."

Send your comments to PC Retail editor Scott Bicheno.

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