Donald Trump’s Scottish golf resorts are slammed for claiming up to £575,000 in furlough cash in two months despite axing dozens of jobs
- Former President of the US Donald Trump, 74, owns two resorts in Scotland
- Up to £575,000 of UK tax payer money was handed over during Dec and Jan
- HMRC is now investigating as at least 66 jobs have been cut since the summer
The Trump Organization has been slammed for claiming up to £575,000 from the furlough scheme for its flagship Scottish resort – despite making redundancies.
The former US president’s Scottish firms have received over half a million pounds via the UK job retention scheme over a two-month period.
While the furlough scheme has been operational since March last year, HMRC’s data currently only details payments claimed by employers during December and January.
It shows one resort in Turnberry, Ayrshire, received between £200,000 and £500,000, while another in Aberdeenshire received between £35,000 and £75,000, the Scotsman reported.
Former President of the United States of America Donald Trump, 74, visiting his Turnberry resort in Ayrshire in June 2015 after it’s $10million (£7.19 million) refurbishment
Union bosses slated the ‘scandal’ and said axing staff while claiming furlough made a ‘mockery’ of a scheme designed to ensure employers retain staff.
It said at least 66 jobs had been lost at Turnberry since last summer, with some staff rehired on ‘inferior’ terms – and has now called for HMRC to investigate.
Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: ‘It is clear to us that at the very least the principles of the job retention scheme appear to have been breached by the Trump Organization and that should now be subjected to a detailed and forensic investigation by HMRC.
Trump’s Turnberry resort received between £200,000 and £500,000 for the months of December and January
‘It’s a scandal and as we slowly emerge from lockdown, we are calling for any discarded staff to be re-engaged on decent pay and conditions, and for that same principle to be applied to new employees as well.’
The latest accounts for Turnberry, which predate the pandemic, show it employed an average monthly number of 541 staff in 2009, with an annual wage bill of £8.9 million.
Trump’s Aberdeenshire resort employed 84 staff, with a £1.9m wage bill.
Scottish Labour’s Colin Smyth said it was ‘only the tip of the iceberg’.
Trump’s Aberdeenshire resort received between £35,000 and £75,000 over a two month period
He added: ‘It’s appalling that Trump has been getting bailouts from the UK Government on one hand while handing out redundancy notices to workers with the other.’
Walter Shaub, a former director of the US Office of Government Ethics said: ‘From the UK perspective, I can’t imagine the citizenry there would be any more happy than a majority of US citizens were about tax dollars propping up an American president’s business interests.
‘It’s a disgrace to the very concept of democracy.’
There is no suggestion of impropriety on the part of Mr Trump’s companies, which are entitled to access the furlough initiative.
Other hotels in Scotland such as the Gleneagles Hotel received between £1.5m and £3.5m over the two-month period.
Its head count exceeds Mr Trump’s firms, with an average monthly number of 661 full-time and 306 part-time staff in 2019 and a wage bill of £23.8m.
Another – the Old Course in St Andrews, Fife, received between £200,000 and £500,000 – it had an average of 455 monthly employees in 2019, with a wage bill of £6.7m.
The government published a full list of all companies that had claimed money in the job retention scheme for December and January last month.
Further details of companies that claimed furlough money in February is due to be published later this week.
Mail Online has contacted the Trump Organization for comment.