The American entrepreneur Donald Trump has failed to deliver on pledges to create thousands of jobs through a supposed billion-pound investment that were key to planning approval for his hugely controversial Scottish golf resort, an investigation has found.

By his own admission, Mr Trump has created no more than 200 of his promised 6,000 jobs and is thought to have spent just £25m on the scheme while bulldozing environmentally sensitive areas of the Scottish coast, according to a new analysis of the scheme’s finances.
The striking shortfall between Mr Trump’s pipe dream and the realities of the venture, leaves Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, facing questions over his judgement in intervening –
As local MSP, Mr Salmond personally rang Scotland’s chief planning officer while he was with the Trump lawyer after the plan was rejected by the local infrastructure committee in his Aberdeenshire constituency.
In 2008, Mr Salmond boasted: “The balance of opinion among people in the north-east of Scotland and among my constituents is very strongly in favour. “I mean 6,000 jobs across Scotland, 1,400 local and permanent jobs here in the north-east of Scotland – that’s a very powerful argument which outweighs the environmental concerns.”
Mr Salmond admits that the lack of progress on the Trump estate has been a major setback given his support. He said “I’m disappointed that the plans haven’t gone ahead as originally envisaged, I hope they will do.”
Mr Trump’s failure so far to deliver his vision does not appear to have harmed his own interests. It is believed the planning permissions for the land have helped boost the value of his Scottish estate, bought for £7m, by at least £100m.
This has led some to suspect that  Mr Trump may have embarked on the scheme with an eye to the land’s potential resale value. But Mr Trump says the reason the development has stalled is the prospect of 11 offshore wind turbines being built within sight of his golf courses. He claims Mr Salmond had assured him such a scheme would not go ahead – he has since labelled Mr Salmond “Mad Alex” and launched legal action to prevent the wind farm being built.
Mr Salmond rejects Mr Trump’s claims about a wind farm promise, adding that no investor can expect to dictate Scotland’s energy policy.

Asked whether he was calling the First Minister a liar, Mr Trump said: “Maybe he has a bad memory.”

No comments:

Post a Comment