What sweeteners has Scottish Government given Grangemouth dispute for it to remain open?


safe_imageThere isn’t a day goes by see all read in the daily rags of increase of energy companies add an increase in their prices whilst low and middle incomes suffers the most and the fatcats rub their hands all the way to their off shore bank accounts.

Here is another example with the Scottish case the owner of the company in my opinion used bully boy tactics by telling the union it’s either my way or the highway as there is plenty of fishes to do business with so I can stick two fingers at you all.

Let’s not forget that a defeat to one is a defeat for all in a nutshell an attack on one is an attack on all of us no matter how small or big. Many will recall of the Thatcher years when she went on an all-out attack on the trade unions via coal miner strike which saw in the long term of their terms and conditions being torn up and closers of coal mining pits. Now compare it to the attitude of Jim Ratcliffe and you will see the link.

ratcliffe-580_13197aHey dudes checkout why he was given the nickname ‘Dr No’ by union chiefs due to his constant refusal to comprimise.

The 57-year-old is the founding member of Ineos, and owns two thirds of the group.

He is an avid fan of running, and was reported to have completed the London Marathon in 2007.

It was in 2006 that he made the move to purchase BP’s assets in Grangemouth, and brought the Scottish refinery into the control of Ineos.

His fortune peaked in 2007, when he was 10th on the Sunday Times Rich List, with a his annual earnings believed to be in the region of £3.3 billion.

In the 2010 list his fortune had fallen to £150 million after being hit hard by the recession and strikes at the Grangemouth plant.

He has previously lived in an £8 million house in Hampshire.

However, in 2010 he moved to Lausanne in Switzerland along with the Ineos Company. The move saw Ineos save around £100 million a year.

This came after the chairman had previously stated his commitment to Ineos’s UK operations.

scottish governmentUnfortunately there were thousands of jobs & a whole community riding on this & there was absolutely no other option. The Scottish Government have however been deeply impressive in the way they have dealt with this and its alleged Len McCluskey played a blinder yesterday. Bitter pill to swallow mind you. Roll on getting the power to ensure we can’t be held to ransom like this again!

How is this folks a £134million fortune has been offered to Ineos boss Jim “JR” Ratcliffe by the UK and Scottish Governments to keep Grangemouth open.

Workers at the plant have also agreed to accept drastic cuts in their pay, conditions and pensions in a bid to keep their jobs.

Now, all that stands in the way of a deal to save 800 jobs – and the future of Scotland’s biggest industrial site – is owner Ratcliffe.

The billionaire tycoon last night refused to say if he would accept the multi-million pound Government investment to help fund a massive revamp of the site.

But an insider said the operation would die if there was no deal settled within 24 hours.

The future of the shutdown plant remained uncertain last night – despite the Unite union “going the extra mile” to save 800 jobs at the petrochemical plant by accepting the Ineos survival plan.

After a day of talks, workers spent another night not knowing if they had a job or not as Ineos managers
reported back to majority shareholder Ratcliffe.

Meetings were held throughout the day, with Unite saying they were accepting the survival plan without any pre-conditions to persuade Ineos to reverse their shock decision to close the petrochemical complex.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the union decided that they had to embrace the survival plan – “warts and all”– in the wake of the closure decision.

Ineos managers were said to be discussing “everything that has been said” – with an announcement from the company expected today.

Westminster and Holyrood ministers joined forces yesterday to make it clear that a multi-million pound deal to refit Grangemouth to deal with cheap US shale gas was still on the table.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and Scottish Government Finance Secretary John Swinney said
Grangemouth had “a great future”.

Carmichael and Swinney held joint talks with the company at Grangemouth yesterday.

On the table was an agreement, in principle, for £125million of UK Government loan guarantees and more than £9million of industrial grants from the Scottish Parliament to convert the plant to shale gas.

The funding would assist Ineos’ £300million plan to invest in the plant – but they have demanded that workers accept lower wages and conditions.

Swinney and Carmichael stood shoulder to shoulder outside the plant yesterday.

I am glad that 800 people continue to have jobs. But I cannot celebrate. Both the UK Government, and the Scottish Government, have allowed Jim Ratcliffe to blackmail them and to humiliate Unite, and we, all of us, now have to further subsidise his profits, paying him tribute and bow our heads in acknowledgment that corporations are sovereign and omnipotent, and we are worthless.

thumbWell it gives me  great pleasure to say our activists will be supporting Labour position on freezing energy bills and this what Toby Perkins had to say:

It is great to be here with you today as part of our dialogue with small business with Toby Perkins, our shadow minister for small business.

I want to thank the FSB for putting together this event.

And for all the incredible work you do for British business all the year round.

I also want to thank all the business people here today for giving up your valuable time to be here with us to discuss the future of small businesses in Britain.

Let me say something about my party:

It hasn’t traditionally been so, but I am deeply committed to us being a party that stands up for small businesses in this country.

You create huge amounts of wealth, and you will create the majority of the new jobs in the future.

The future of the British economy depends on small business.

You invent the products that we sell at home and across the world.

You provide the jobs that our country so desperately needs.

You nurture the skills of our young people.

And you create the wealth without which our country cannot thrive in the years ahead.

When you succeed, Britain succeeds.

But so many small businesses are facing the same cost of living crisis that affects families in our economy.

We are determined to do something about it.

Let me suggest some ways we can make a difference.

First, taking action on business rates.

I know that for so many small businesses, business rates are a cost that just seem to grow and grow, and are now often greater than your rent.

We are determined to do something about this ever escalating bill.

This Government plans to cut taxes further for large firms in 2015.

In tough times, we would use those precious resources instead to cut business rates after the next election and freeze them in 2016.

Our tax cut and freeze will mean an average saving of nearly £450 for 1.5 million business properties– shops, workshops, start-up businesses.

Second, we are determined to get a grip on the energy costs that are such a problem for so many small businesses.

Annual energy bills for small businesses have gone up by an average of £10,000 since 2010.

We would freeze prices until 2017 if we win the election.

And reform a broken energy market.

With proper competition and a new, effective regulator after that.

To keep prices as low as possible for the years ahead.

There is no solution to the cost of living crisis which tiptoes around taking on the energy companies and reforming a broken market.

You have seen the debate that this proposal has started.

Yesterday in weakness and panic, the government made up a new policy on energy.

Today, Nick Clegg has revealed their true intentions.

To shift the burden from ordinary bill payers, like you, to ordinary taxpayers, like you. Governments have always looked at this balance but this Government wants you to pick up the tab for its failure to stand up to the energy companies.

That won’t offer the real help that business and families need.

They propose a panicked wheeze paid for by taxpayers.

We offer a real freeze paid for by the big energy companies.

Third, we want to get you the finance you need to survive, grow and prosper.

It is why we will establish a network of new regional banks: banks that can lend in your region and in your region alone.

So that they have a legal duty to support the small and medium-sized businesses in their own part of the country.

That means that under Labour we will have banks that work for you, rather than you working for the banks.

These are just three changes that will make a real difference.

We will cut business rates, freeze energy bills and sort out our banking system.

And that is just a start.

I want a dialogue about what more needs to be done.

Let me end where I began: with Labour, and why we can stand up for you.

Because of our belief in enterprise.

But also because it is time to deploy one of our great traditions in the service of small business, standing up for those who need someone on their side.

Helping you, to help our country.

We want to develop a comprehensive offer coming from One Nation Labour for small businesses.

My ambition, our ambition, is to make our party, the Labour Party, the champion of small business at the next election.

george-osborne-bullingdon1On a more serious note let’s not forget that ‘It was just six months ago that many economists feared the UK would suffer a triple-dip recession. Now, after estimated growth of 0.8% in the third quarter, the economy is growing at its fastest rate since 2010. Output is still 2.5% below its pre-recession peak (in the US, by contrast, it is 4.6% above) and the recovery has come three years later than promised, but George Osborne has been the beneficiary of low expectations.

Yet as Labour will repeatedly point out today, for most of the public this is no recovery at all. In the most recent month, average weekly earnings grew by just 0.7%, a real-terms cut of 2% and the lowest figure on record. Incomes are not expected to rise until 2015 and and will not return to their pre-crash levels until 2023. The minimum wage is worth no more than it was in 2004 and 4.8 million workers are paid less than the living wage. If there is growth, the voters will ask, why aren’t we feeling it? 

The charge that this is a recovery for the few, not the many, is one the Tories are particularly vulnerable to. It was Osborne who chose to cut the top rate of tax at the same time as presiding over the longest fall in living standards since 1870. The Conservative response to Labour’s cost of living offensive is to deride it as a distraction from the primary task of fixing the economy, but this message is ill suited to a time when 11 million people have had no increase in their real earnings since 2003. Rising GDP is no longer a guarantee of rising wages. By successfully framing the debate since the conference season, Labour has positioned itself to take advantage of this trend.

The Conservative hope remains that higher growth will feed into higher wages in time for the election, but before then they need emblematic policies to convince voters that they are on their side. On the fringes of the party, there is much good thinking taking place. The Conservative campaign group Renewal, which aims to broaden the party’s appeal among northern, working-class and ethnic-minority voters, recently published a pledge card calling for the building of a million new homes over the course of the next parliament, a significant increase in the minimum wage, a “cost of living test” for all legislation and action against “rip-off companies”.

But by deriding intervention in the market as “Marxist”, the Tories risk positioning themselves as the defenders of a failing system. When Margaret Thatcher assailed her left-wing opponents in the 1980s, she did so in the confidence that her free-market policies retained popular support and were delivering rising living standards. Cameron does not enjoy that luxury. To avoid being repeatedly trumped by Labour, the Tories will need to replace dogma with action.’

photoDavid Cameron is saying people die needlessly every winter because of the cold . He’s telling people to turn on their heating!! HOW CAN THEY TURN THE HEATING ON IF THEY CAN’T PAY THEIR BILLS, plus AN INCREASE NEXT MONTH? Many of us on low and middle incomes will say to David Cameron Come down to earth and see how the real people live.

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