IF THE very real jobs threat facing Ministry of Justice workers becomes a reality then Newport could be about to face yet another major blow.

As we reported in February there were stirrings of plans to outsource work currently carried out by staff at the city's Ministry ofJustice Shared Services Centre on the edge of the city.

It now seems that this is the increasingly likely outcome of a government review, putting 1,000 jobs at risk.

The Ministry of Justice is not yet confirming that the civil service jobs will go.

But it is in the middle of considering several options for the future delivery of back office administration services with the focus very much on cutting costs.

It seems more likely than ever that any change would lead to jobs going out to private contractors with no guarantee that any of the jobs would be maintained in Newport.

Staff have been told that their jobs could be privatised in the government opts for a deal with French IT company Steria as early as August.

They are due to take strike action later this month in protest at the plans.

No doubt the government would argue that the changes will lead to a better deal for the taxpayer.

However we would argue that putting 1,000 people in Newport out of a job is a high price to pay and we would urge them to think of the wider costs of such a move.