There were some indignant noises at the weekend over the amount of public money that has been pumped into the Michelin tyre plant in Dundee over the years.
Quite right. The company has received up to £8 million in state handouts to pay for a variety of improvements at the seemingly doomed factory.
The Sunday Mail reported that in 2012 John Reid, Michelin’s Dundee factory manager, admitted that his firm had been handed “four or five times” more cash out of the Scottish Government than from any other administration in Europe.
Conservative MSP for North East Scotland, Bill Bowman, said the cash specifically supported work at Dundee and. as such, it would be “completely wrong” for the equipment bought with this cash to be taken out of Scotland.
Daily Business last week called for the cash to be returned and now all manner of MSPs are demanding the same.
What really sticks in the craw is why a company that made £1.5 billion in profit last year needs this sort of support anyway, especially if it can’t guarantee it will be sticking around.
We make no apologies for withholding the full statement from Indigo PR on its merger with a smaller city firm. Aside from some key issues around this story, there was a lot of the usual try-it-on froth in the statement that no self-respecting publication ought to fall for.
That said, there was no shortage of willing journos prepared to run with the spin. No surprise, then, that Indigo’s Facebook page thanked three publications for their coverage (we weren’t included).
The editor of one just happens to be delivering some advice at a talk to Indigo’s staff this week on how the digital media works. Copy and paste, anyone?
Mackay’s levy questioned
We were also indebted to MSP Bill Bowman who asked the Scottish Government to confirm our story that Economy and Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has “no plan” to introduce an additional business rates levy on out of town premises.
Mr Bowman wanted to know if this represented a change of its policy.
Government minister Kate Forbes replied that the Scottish Government has “consistently stated” that it has taken no decisions on the Barclay Review recommendations, one of which is to introduce the levy.
The new power would enable councils to impose an additional levy on rates in certain circumstances.
The consultation concluded on 17 September and Ms Forbes said the government is currently analysing the responses. “An analysis of the responses will be published in due course in line with good practice” she told parliament.