Sunday, November 04, 2012

More embarrassment for George

George Osborne seems to be flypaper for bad luck, or at least he often seems to be the wrong man in the wrong place. The loss of jobs at Ford's Swaythling and Dagenham plants that was announced last week was bad enough but the revelation that months before the closures were announced the European Investment Bank agreed a loan of £80 million to Turkey to allow them to build new facilities to take these jobs is a real kick in the teeth.

Job losses at any time are bad news but discovering that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was one of the people responsible for granting an EU loan to a non-EU country to take those jobs is appalling.

It's not often Nigel Farage appears in one of my posts but he's right to demand answers to the three main questions here 1) did Osborne know 2) if he did why didn't he say something at the time and 3) if he didn't know why didn't he know?

The European Investment Bank states on its home page that "We are the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. We work closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy."  Now EU policy can be very subtle sometimes, you only have to look at how overseas aid is regarded by the majority of British people, but this seems a bit more brazen, of course the EU family does reach out to non-EU nations, the EIB has funded projects in Tunisia and South Africa (enough to make anybody of a certain age and political persuasion start thinking about where their oranges are from!) but this is shifting manufacturing and jobs to a country that is already attracting foreign investment and creating jobs.

Of course Osborne isn't the only one who is part of this decision making process but it seems odd that he hasn't made a public statement on either the loan or the closure of Swaythling and resultant job losses, particularly when he has been such a vociferous and public defender of jobs in the City of London whenever the EU threatens to tax bonuses or jobs there.

7 comments:

Span Ows said...

yes, silence is golden in some respects: is he just keeping his head down and hoping it blows over (we are having dozens of good days to bury bad news lately)?

Span Ows said...

P.S. Does this mean they are already taking Turkish entry as a fact or was the loan a sop to assuage the constant changing of the joining requirements?

Paul said...

Good points. Turkey and the EU are miles apart at the moment on conditions of entry but it's interesting to see how many infrastructure projects seem to be getting Turkey involved. I was reading some comments recently about the Turkish economy growing and Turkey actually wondering whether or not to worry about EU membership.

Incidentally I did some research on behalf of somebody the other week about working in Turkey and the conditions of even temporary employment will have steam coming out of your ears!

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