Joe Higgins call for Halifax to be taken into Public Ownership

Responding to the news of Bank of Scotland (Ireland)’s decision to close its Halifax outlets with the resulting loss of 750 jobs Socialist Party MEP Joe Higgins commented.

“There are further indications today that this announcement will be followed by an even greater slashing of jobs by AIB and Bank of Ireland as low and middle income bank workers in the main are being made to pay for the mistakes of Senior Management.

“Bank of Scotland, who were among the beneficiaries of a UK government £17 billion bail out, say they are closing these branches because they cannot see themselves achieving a profit in ‘a realistic timeframe’ and that they have no strategy for the bank’s future.

“This admission taken together with the absence of any evidence that the banks will lend to working people and small businesses makes a fresh case for the banks to be taken into public ownership and run democratically with boards made up of the workers, the government and customers. This in the only means by which jobs can be protected and lending policy be controlled by anything other than the discredited existing bank boards of management.

“I will support every effort made by the Halifax workers and UNITE to defend their jobs which given the scale of compulsory redundancies the company want means strike action.”