A lack of responsible investment

It’s all too easy to call on the British Government and Invest NI to intervene and to “provide investment to sustain the plant and support the employees until a new owner can be found”, as the MP for West Belfast, SF’s Gerry Adams, has done in the case of US company Trivirix, after the court-appointed administrator – Deloitte and Touche as the BBC reported previously – announced that 76 jobs would be lost following a review of the company’s books, enabling 37 people to remain employed there. The SDLP MLA Alex Atwood also called for the same response. But, as the BBC report, the US company has already received £2.5million in grants since 1999, and Invest NI, let’s remind ourselves, has a less than admirable record of managing investment.But it is one example of real politics breaking out, and providing evidence of a difference in emphasis between some of the parties, and, in this case, there’s at least one sensible comment – from the DUP’s Diane Dodds, as quoted in the BBC report

“It is absolutely disgraceful that a large American firm that still has three fully functioning factories in the US can come to Northern Ireland, take grant aid for the establishment of their NI base and then leave a few years later owing their employees wages and salaries”

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  • Bunter

    After hearing what Mr. Adams had to say about Trivirex I just about fell out of my chair laughing! wont swear alegiance to Her Majesty, wont sit in Westminster, hates everything Brithish Oh! I forgot not the POUND! Sure why don’t the British Government just pay all of Gerry’s constituants to stay home. Better still why not invite more of his American friends to open company’s and bleed the system to death. At least that way he will not have to worry about thre RA being disarmed! I’m sure the folks in Ulster can’t wait for the Shinners to appoint a Mister of Finance.

  • IJP

    Speaking in an entirely personal capacity here: but I’d say Pete is entirely right.

    Every time a firm closes, apparently the Government is supposed to step in! With whose money, precisely?

    The whole point of the market economy is that it creates wealth, part of which is contributed to the Government in taxes.

    We in Northern Ireland have been on the drip feed for so long, we live with this ludicrous Utopian notion that the ‘Government’ has an endless supply of money! Actually it’s our money and our wealth. Although subsidies are reasonable short-term, if a company isn’t sustainable in the medium term, you get rid!

    We have to get away from this fear of profit and deal with the realities of globalization.

  • beezer

    I am afraid that one of the other reality’s NI has to face is that 43% of the population continue to vote for party’s whose major political objective is the demise of the state. That fact alone puts such a brake on economic development that maintenance of the status quo might be the best that can be achieved. If you were in the position to decide where to invest in a new facility for your multi national biotech company, What would you look for ?…favourable tax regime, flexible labour laws, currency stability, skilled workforce, access to markets, access to political decision makers, etc, etc. How do we think NI stacks up ? Not only against the Republic but new EU states in Eastern Europe ? Scotland ? Wales ?
    The Nationalist minority may not have the numbers yet to win a border poll but they have the numbers to keep the economy fettered in the backwater in which it currently resides. Even if there is an assembly up and running, it will have no fiscal policy making power. Imagine an executive with Sinn Fein in charge of the purse strings. Imagine an executive with the DUP in charge of anything. Maybe the best we can hope for is to keep the guns silent for at least a generation and see if the next twenty five years can produce a society that can live with each other. That is probably the limit of the expectations of the two governments.