Friday, 13 November 2009

Diageo and RSA

RSA is Regional Selective Assistance which offers taxpayers' money to certain areas of Scotland which have been designated Assisted Areas.

Like all business who met the criteria, Diageo applied in 1999 for a grant and received £1m towards the expansion of its Kilmarnock plant - which is now to close with the loss of 700 jobs.

Then in November 2001 the then labour/libdem Scottish government awarded a further £1.6m towards the cost of a bottling line at Leven in Fife, where the firm plans to boost its operations.

Patrick Harvie MSP has called Diageo "extremely disingenuous" for accepting public funds to protect jobs at the Johnnie Walker site in Kilmarnock - jobs to be axed in favour of investment in Leven. He also hit out at the further grant used by the company to safeguard jobs at Leven, which he claimed undermined Kilmarnock's position.

However, Tricia Marwick MSP for Central Fife, said the company had worked within the rules.

Mr Harvie added: "Diageo have apparently persuaded successive ministers to ignore their massive profits and to use our money to fund their redundancies.

"Scottish Ministers must now promise not to squander any additional public money in this way.

A spokesman for Diageo said, "Diageo is totally comfortable that all obligations placed on the company in relation to these grants have been met."

Quite amazing how a company which yields massive profits is provided with taxpayers' money albeit legally. Reminds me of the Queen applying and receiving taxpayers' money from some other government scheme, for erecting miles of fencing round perimeter of Balmoral Castle - all in the name of keeping deer clear of the road.


The Last Of The Few said...


RSA has been abused by companies for many years now.

2 screaming examples in my area

1. Motorola in Dunfermline.......biggest White Elephant there ever was.

2. Lexmark in Rosyth........back in Mexico now!

Both building empty, built with RSA funding!

The stories of both these will not be news to you no doubt.

subrosa said...

No they're not news to me LotF, I should have mentioned them in the post perhaps.

Folks can google them if they're interested.

Motorola in particular was just shocking in their behaviour. I know more about that than Lexmark.

polaris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
polaris said...

The desperate grasp for inward investment has cost us dearly - and like Eire is usually short lived. Grant aid abuse has being on for decades - and many companies benefit, acquiring land and money - at a massive loss to taxpayers.

To put a name to some of the others:

Burroughs (Livingston & Cumbernauld)
Chunghwa Picture Tubes (Maxim Park, Glasgow)
Hyundai (Dunfermline)

Most of the sites in the New Towns occupied by large corporations were Development Corporation grant assisted developments on land gifted to the ocuupiers - and this is still going on. When will we learn?

At least Diageo actually have a long term commitment to Scotland.

subrosa said...

Thanks for your list polaris. I wasn't here in Scotland when these companies were around, although I did some work for an English new town and you're absolutely right, premier land was gifted to those they deemed suitable.

I think Nicon had one of the best factory sites in the UK but at least they've stayed around, same as Diageo.

Dramfineday said...

And as well as dipping into the public purse, Messrs Diageo (through the Scotch whisky Association) have employed consultants to kill the health bill section regarding minimum pricing.......lovely

Allan said...

I was aware that the taxpayer had given Diageo money, i think Salmond should have called for Diageo to give the money back - and i may have said so on my blog at the time - but the sums are still suprising.

Why do polititians fall for this trick each time?

Great post.

subrosa said...

Thanks Allan. Diageo have done nothing wrong. The legislation was sitting there waiting for them to use it.

Pity there's no scheme sitting around to help the likes of you or me isn't it.

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