Firm's job loss plea to PM

Miles Jermy THE boss of a Great Yarmouth company has appealed to the Prime Minister to ease the plight of his business.Screenprint Plus managing director Ian McCreadie is asking Gordon Brown to speed up the introduction of planned prize increases from gaming machines in pubs and arcades.

Miles Jermy

THE boss of a Great Yarmouth company has appealed to the Prime Minister to ease the plight of his business.

Screenprint Plus managing director Ian McCreadie is asking Gordon Brown to speed up the introduction of planned prize increases from gaming machines in pubs and arcades.

Jobs have been cut by more than half at the Harfreys Industrial Estate based business in the last two years with a further 18 redundancies last week.


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He said: “We are a small company supplying printed items and metal components to the industry. Two years ago across two factories we employed over 160 staff. By the end of this month this will have reduced to 70 and unless immediate action is taken it will drop even further in the New Year.”

The government accepted the case for an increase in stakes and prizes from fruit machines last summer, but the changes are not likely to be introduced until April.

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The business, which is also being hit by the economic downturn, has seen sales half from £400,000 a month to below £200,000 in the last few months.

Pubs have also seen revenues decline from gaming machines, which provide a valuable source of income for many licensees.

“Distributors are not willing to order new machines when an increase stakes and prizes is due to be announced,” said Mr McCreadie.

“All we are asking for is immediate action on the proposed increase in stakes and prizes on a limited number of gaming machines. To have to wait a further five months or more for action to be taken is totally unacceptable in the present financial situation.

“There are several hundred businesses involved in the gaming industry employing over 200,000 people.

“To help save their livelihoods an immediate announcement is required regarding stakes and prizes.”

The review of stakes and prize limits was carried out by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said it was bought forward to help the seaside arcade sector and pubs and 12 weeks had to be allowed for the EU to comment on the proposals.

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