At 11.45 this morning the Lloyds Banking Group announced that it is going to close its Contact Centre in Brighton (Sussex House) on 28th May next year, resulting in the loss of 425 jobs. The Bank is moving out of the building and the work of a further 76 staff may be transferred away from Brighton.
As things stand, there is little prospect of more than a handful of these staff avoiding compulsory redundancy, obviously with serious consequences for local jobs and the local economy.
I'm flabbergasted: almost half the bank is publicly-owned - and I think the Government has a duty to step in and save the jobs, relocating some of the bank's call-centre activities from India to Brighton to do so.
It might costs the bank a little more money in the short term - but the costs to the Government - and the fabric of our society - of mass unemployment are much, much higher.
Yet again the Labour government seems more interested in protecting its investments - and encouraging the banks to make as much money as they can - even at the cost of hundreds of jobs.
Simon Burgess must be absolutely ashamed of himself.