Saturday, 6 November 2010

Nice Money If You Can Get It

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...


Billy said...

Jim Sheridan is one of the worst cases of political deceit that I have ever come across.

He is one of the Scottish MPs who is wasting £35 million per year to do nothing but get rich at the expense of the tax-payers and buy all the expensive stuff he can on his "expenses" he charges to the tax-payers for doing nothing.

This brave MP even tried to bully a pensioners group here in Paisley when they had the audacity to send a letter to him enquiring how he could justify what he was spending on himself when people like them were having to struggle.

He is a typical lazy Labour scumbag.

RMcGeddon said...

The price of these HP printer catridges should be investigated aswell SR.
Something isn't right if it costs the same to buy a new HP printer as it does to buy 2 new cartridges. And you can't buy cheaper elsewhere due to a monopoly system in play.

English Pensioner said...

Large companies always seem to grab all the available aid, rather that the small companies where it is the most needed and would probably produce the best long term results. There are many small companies which could do with help, perhaps to move to bigger premises or buy some new machinery, and helping such companies to expand is where the future lies. But the big companies employ people full time looking for "aid" and finding good sounding reasons, whilst the small companies probably don't even know it is available. And of course, it is easier to dish it out in big dollops to a few rather than in small amounts to the many!

Anonymous said...

I've often wondered about the fact that you could buy a new printer more cheaply than new cartridges. It makes no sense to me. Specially when they include a cartridge in the new printer!

subrosa said...

If anyone should know about him then you should Billy.

The point of the post is the HP seems to be firing then hiring while the taxpayer pays salaries for a year or two. That can't be right.

subrosa said...

There's a monopoly right enough RM. I use Epson but the cost there is high. Buying 'fake' cartridges has messed up my present printer. It sounds like a tractor in difficulties but it eventually spews something out so I'm hanging on.

subrosa said...

That's my stance exactly EP and I do feel sorry for small businesses who see such volumes of cash being doled out to those who have manipulated the system.

Dubbieside said...


Some of these sums are mind blowing if you break it down to cost per job.

The other thing is, are there any time limits on how long these jobs and the machinery that I assume we have paid for, so people can do these jobs, must stay in the country?

I believe all the TV manufacturing machinery we paid for in Lanarkshire is now working well in the Far East. One solution could be the Scottish Government lease all the machinery so it does not leave the country.

On the money spent, I think a better use of part of the money from Scottish Enterprise would be to pay small local firms to take on apprentices. Every town has joiners, plumbers etc who could be paid say £3000 to £5000 per year per apprentice. We would then get real jobs, and maybe some Scottish tradesmen for the skills we continue to need.

Mind you that would stop the photo opportunities for politicians standing outside buildings that in some cases have never been used.

subrosa said...

Maybe because they're subsidised by the taxpayer tris.

Key bored warrior. said...

Kodak has a good system for ink, you only pay for the ink resevoir not the head, see here:

RMcGeddon said...

A friend brought his printer back from the US and when he bought local HP cartridges they wouldn't function. Exact same cartridges aswell. Obviously a chip embedded in the catridge or printer to reject imported cartridges. Maybe it's a way to stop us buying cheaper catridges abroad. Like with DVD's and CD's.


Yes the cheapest HP printer is about £40. About the same price as two cartidges. The printer comes with two cartridges although they have slightly less ink than seperately bought cartridges ( according to the salesman) . I've got a couple of new printers in the shed and use a new printer when the present one starts playing up. Doing a Bob Marley etc.

Apogee said...

The cost of printers is subsidised by the cost of the ink cartridges, the cartridges supplied with the printer are usually less than half full, depends on the manufacturer, this is to stop the situation of a few years ago when you could be better off buying a new printer than a new set of cartridges.
Think for a minute, do you really expect to get a complex printer for the same cost as a couple of plastic boxes with about 2, maybe 3 table spoonfulls of ink in them? One is subsidising the other.
Yes, all sorts of tricks are used to make sure you only buy the manufacturers preferred ink for a specific market.
As for HP and sharp practices, what has been happening in the States re HP in the last few years make interesting reading, just remember, its all about the greenbacks,If we are stupid enough to give them away, with no strings attached, well they, whoever, is smart enough to take them. Wouldnt you?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Now let's be sensible Rosa - it costs a lot of money to lay off these people in Erskine?

And we must be grateful to HP for having the brainstorm inspiration to lay off 850 then make reparation by finding a process that can employ 721, and for that to happen in such a short time.

I suppose the cynics out there will suspect this was HP's intention all along and the Scottish government has been played for a patsy.

Wonder how much HP got from the Czech's?

Capitalism; free markets, call it what you will, without responsibility is tyranny and this is only a small example.

subrosa said...

I'll remember that KBW. Thanks for the link.

subrosa said...

That's the only explanation I can think of too RM. It's a disgrace that DVDs and CDs are so cheap in the US yet can't be used here.

subrosa said...

Yes indeed Apogee. If I were boss of HP I'd take it. Shame for the wee businesses who don't get a chance though.

subrosa said...

This is only a very small example RA. We don't hear most of it.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

We may not be told of 'most' of it; but we pay for ALL of it Rosa.

subrosa said...

That's what stick's in my craw RA.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...


subrosa said...

Of course I should have said sticks not stick's RA but then you will have noticed the deliberate mistake. :)

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