How much do you think it costs to create 721 jobs? I'm not speaking about exceptionally highly skilled jobs but possibly those at the lower end of the market. £1 million? £2 million?
Figures from Scotland's Regional Selective Assistance fund show that ink giant HP snaffled almost half the cash given out in the last quarter. Between July and September, Scottish Enterprise via RSA, gave out £14.8m. HP Enterprise Services UK Ltd got £7m of this to create 721 jobs in Erskine. In total the £14.8m grants will create 1,447 jobs and keep another 470 posts safe.
Scottish manufacturing firms, 16 of them, collected £2.5m to create or safeguard 368 jobs.
After HP the next biggest payout of £1.7m went to Vertex which promised to create 368 back-office jobs in Glasgow.
I have no objection to taxpayers' money being used to create jobs when those jobs are genuine and provide people with reasonable security and a living wage. But I thought I would remind you that the ink giant HP sacked 850 people at its plant in Erskine in last year, because production of servers and storage devices were to be moved to the Czech Republic. In 2006 HP shifted 200 manufacturing jobs from its Erskine factory to Pardubice in the Czech Republic.
Jim Sheridan, MP for Paisley and North Renfrewshire said at that time:
the decision was: "one of the worst cases of corporate deceit I have ever come across."I doubt if that will have been of concern to Scottish Enterprise though. As long as the boxes are ticked...