In 2008, the business-mogul, the American businessman and Golf Estate builder Donald J. Trump came with giant promises and that a modern golf field in and around Aberdeen would not only be profitable, but also become a major boost of the economy in the North Eastern of Scotland. Now years after and thanks to ‘the Ferret’ and Rob Edwards tireless seeking of information. There are now evidence of the operation the last two years. This after the troubles with neighbors and destruction of the dunes. An environmental disaster done for supposed benefits of business gained by the golfing operation and the hotel on the property. Clearly, this has not happen.
Because on 12th July 2017, the Ferret got the information from the Aberdeenshire Council. This documents that was delivered are revealing of how the lacking promises are delivered to the North Eastern of Scotland. The Trump Organization evidently pumped their swagger-up and sold their tricks of trade without actually having what it takes to build a profitable and establishment worth visiting.
In 2014, the Golf Recreation Scotland Limited or the Turnberry at Minnie in Aberdeenshire lost before taxes £ 3,603,000. That is not a positive results, neither is it in 2015, when the company lost before taxes £ 8,396,000. So the business there isn’t cracking or growing, it is actually going terrible. Within two years lost nearly £ 12 million British Pound. That is not small pocket change and also worrying since the promises made are not in this regard.
Another fact from the document are that in 2014, the whole company had 344 hired, operating staff was 305 and 39 administrative. So as the time goes in 2015, the total staff is 337 working there, operating staff 297 and 40 administrative. Therefore, the company isn’t really big or having a strong impact of jobs, considering this was supposed to be a place that boosted economy. Not only is the golf-course losing money, it is also being short staffed and having few people hired.
The salaries in total has gone from £ 6,796,000 in 2014 and in 2015 it was £ 6,020,000. Therefore, the salaries paid out to the staff isn’t substantial for the changes of environment. The boost of the Aberdeenshire, is not happening now or near future. As the Turnberry at the Minnie.
The profits after the cost of sales in 2014 are £ 3,454,000 and in 2015 it were £ 3,725,000. So the profits have not really gone up. Even if the turnover went from £ 9,209,000 in 2014 and in 2015 it went to £ 11,410,000. Even if the turnover went up with £ 2,000,000, the profits went only up about £ 300,000. So the percentage after cost are minimal. This with the concerning level of staffing. It seems like the Turnberry isn’t made profitable or neither operational in a way that they promised the Scottish government in 2008.
Also, because of the issues with the profits, turnovers and the salaries. The taxation for 2014 were supposed to be £ 774,000, but because of losses they paid none. The similar was in 2015 it was £ 1,697,000, but because of the losses the there were none. So the Aberdeenshire and the North East of Scotland. Has really not earned a dime on it. The salaries haven’t been substantial either.
That this isn’t substantial in any sense that in Aberdeenshire alone, it is over 261,000 people. The total employment is at 132,100. The Turnberry or the Golf Recreation of Scotland and was in 337 people. Therefore, the promises was not kept. While Donald Trump has claimed the Energy building and the wind turbines destroying his business.
With the stark difference to Aberdeenshire Council:
“Energetica has attracted £260 million of a potential £750 million investment in its first five years. Construction spend of over £500 million (present value – PV) is expected across the Energetica business parks over the next 20 years. The gross jobs accommodated by new business space on the
parks could be expected to generate around £5.1 billion (PV) gross GVA per annum in 2025. New business space expected to be developed on the Energetica parks could accommodate around 12,400 jobs by 2025” (Aberdeenshire Council – Aberdeenshire Coucil, July 2016).
Therefore, the Energetica actually spends monies in the area, they will hire up to 12,400, which is massive amount of workforce. Also possible adding 12,400. Can doubt a golf-course that is already running badly, will get turnover or even since it losses money. The Energetica will spend fortunes and also generate money in Aberdeenshire. Totally different from what the golf-course will generate. The destruction of the Minnie dunes for the Turnberry clearly hasn’t paid-off.
Golf Digest in 2016 had this statement on the place: “Here is what Turnberry is not: A traditional, lay of the land, or lovably quirky links. The course, which has been through many iterations in between its use as an air base in times of war, has always been fairly straightforward, a fine examination of many shots with beautiful views” (…) “Turnberry makes no apologies for being an Americanized version of an authentic links. Trump added the same 10 foot wide ryegrass walkways that he insisted on through the dunes at Trump International in Aberdeen. While perhaps too clean and carpet-like for most, they do add an elegance to walks as your approach Ebert’s square tee boxes (which fight the landcape a bit)” (Geoff Schackelford – ‘DONALD TRUMP’S TURNBERRY: THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE DELIVERS WITH HIS RENOVATED AYRSHIRE COURSE’ 20.07.2016).
So clearly, his vision has to improve the experience, but business-wise it has been pathetic. With time the Trump Organization might earn monies on it. But right now, the promises are not kept. Neither, seems to be possible, the one that will make difference and boost to Aberdeenshire is the Energetica investments into clean-air and windmills in sea. Peace.
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Well, this time in history will be remembered, in the times that the multi-national corporations have most of them fled their regional scenes and put their headquarters and main operations into tax havens. Therefore, with this in mind, the states and republics that actually is where they make the profits get less tax and get fewer monies to spend on public services. That does not make them poor, but smart someone might say. This is legal and the openness of the economies let them do it, but to be frank, we should question this big giant corporations for their fleeing fortunes abroad.
The corporations are not alone in all of this, the rich people themselves cannot sustained this, they cannot afford to pay reasonable taxes, and they need tax-relief so they can salvage their Monte Carlo and their Lamborghini’s. They have their massive mansions and stalls of cars, but cannot pay the percentages on the tax as ordinary working-class do. In addition, the working-class use decades on end to pay down the mortgage on the house and loan on their Ford Fiesta. If they can even afford a house and a car at his point.
The American enterprise and experience is really seeing it, as they plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, because the wealthy are too broke or to selfish to help the working-class who made them rich. That the working-class and industrial worker are falling behind as new schemes to outrun their possibilities. The corporations and the believers of free economies want more flexibility, but do not give equal wages or compensations. Therefore, the loser in the transactions are the workers and not the companies. Secondly, the states earn less without added productivity.
It is naive that the businesses care about other things than the bottom-line is vicious, like the wealthy have the capacity to share the spoils, which they have earned on the commoners and the citizens. Therefore, the spoils, which in some industries entails sweatshop workers and exports to the Western hemisphere with grand profits for the clothing and appeal giants. Something that the workers in Bangladesh or Pakistan doesn’t see anything delivered back, than a filthy industrial complex and possible health hazards for their hours work on end for a lousy T-shirts.
The others are the ones who are doing mining and extraction for the technology and IT businesses that has no issues with the illegal and militias taking controls over mining fields and black-market trading of rare earth minerals or cobalt for that matter. As long as the giant companies trading computers, smart-phones and whatnot get their profits. Certainly, the CEO and other leaders in the corporations should worry of the implications and the lives destroyed while their businesses are earning loads of monies. There should be some sort of certification of the weak trading points; if they knowingly paid, some of the monies on technology could fund militias and illegal armed conflicts.
This is real poverty, that we have systems, salary structures and imports that hurt local areas, while the businesses earn fortunes, that again is flying on the merry to a tax haven in the pacific through a shell-company set-up by lawyers in Panama. In addition, this is legal and just, by law and in society. That the same companies telling their workers that they cannot afford more wages, since they have to stack millions upon millions in the British Virgin Island. So that the shareholders and stakeholders can earn profits for the toils and sweat of fellow workers.
So when I hear that the workers cannot ask for bigger salaries, while the states and republics create tax-holidays and tax-breaks, incentives for “investments” while the big-men are doling away vast fortunes in the middle of the day. Like a legal heist, a theft of both tax and salary, the salaries that could be used more in the system to gain growth, and secondly the added tax that could build roads and infrastructure that the company could need. However, hey, we do not need proper roads and wages, as long as the rich can travel to Monaco and St. Tropez whenever they feel like it. We are foolish to think otherwise!
When you hear that the rich has to get tax-breaks and their taxes cut, know that they are poor in spirit and heart. They may have vast fortunes and riches, but their hearts are empty. They do not see the problems of the day-to-day basis of the ones creating their empires. They do not see the people who buys their labeled products and services. They only see the bottom-line, the empty shells companies’ accounts and the schemes to hide the monies. That is because these wealthy people are so poor; they cannot afford to be like the rest of us.
The wealthy are so poor, they are so poor that they have to avoid taxes or pay taxes, because if they were paying taxes they would be like us. They would have the same responsibilities and have the same understanding of welfare and public services. Therefore, since they do not need the public service, they can afford to travel abroad for health-care; they can afford to send their kids to private schools and can afford to import goods. Then they do not need the support and the base line of the republic or the state. Like you and I do. Therefore, with that in mind, which is why they are so poor. Their poverty is in the mind and in their spirit; they cannot be a part of us, because they want to shield themselves from us. Still, earning our monies and taking our cheap labor, no problem!
This poor people need help, they need guidance, their riches might fall out of their hands, might be lost in coup d’état or worse than they get bankrupt. Than they need the states to salvage their business or their bank, with our tax-monies, without any hesitation, but when it was booming. That was the time they had no need of paying taxes or paying amends to the state through the regulations. Like we do and pay for our right to live and use the needed services of the states.
In these interesting times of ours, we have the riches seeking to pay-less, while the working-class is footing the bills or trying too. While the republics and states make it harder for public service and make it more expensive to pay for the needed services. This are all made in the hands of the wealthy and the multi-national corporations, without considering the implications of the commoner, the working-class nor the middle-class that are all sinking on the behalf of the rich. Certainly, the belief that the trickle-down economy should be a project avoided, but to many still have faith in the paradigm. While very, few have any social mobility or have the capacity to go from one class to the next. Peace.
South African citizens across the land are speaking out and taking action to express their dissatisfaction. The Nelson Mandela Foundation supports the demand to hold to account those responsible for compromising our democratic state and looting its resources.
Twenty years since Nelson Mandela signed South Africa’s Constitution into law and as the third anniversary of his passing approaches, it is painful for us at the Nelson Mandela Foundation to bear witness to the wheels coming off the vehicle of our state.
We have seen a weakening of critical institutions such as the South African Revenue Service, the National Prosecuting Authority and law enforcement bodies due to political meddling for private interests.
We are reaping the results of a political trend of personalising matters of state around a single individual leader. This in a constitutional democracy is to be deplored.
The ability and commitment of the Head of State to be a ‘constitutional being’, is one of the wheels of our state. The unanimous judgment of the Constitutional Court of the Republic in the matter of President Zuma and the use of state resources on a private residence was one such test. It is increasingly a national consensus that he has failed the test.
As this particular wheel rolls away, other critical institutions of state break off to follow it. The legislative, business, and public service sectors of the country are severely affected, compromising the ability of the state to serve the people. A battle now rages to keep SARS attached to the vehicle of state. What public discourse has described as ‘state capture’ by private and political interests is, we believe, a real threat to the Republic.
Another wheel is an accessible and well-functioning education system. Arguably this wheel has never been fully attached, but the failures of the last two decades threaten that it rolls away. Schools, in our view, particularly those in townships and rural areas, have largely been captured to political interests and have deteriorated to unimaginable levels. And now universities are being brought to their knees as they lurch from crisis to crisis while a semblance of normality is enforced under what are effectively states of emergency. This is not sustainable for any education system. The potential collapse of universities will damage our democracy to its core.
We call on the governing party to take the steps necessary to ensure that the vehicle of state be protected and placed in safe and capable hands. And we join the call for a national convention of stakeholders to begin to reimagine South Africa’s future beyond the unsustainable stresses of the moment.
Written Press Statement by the Nelson Mandela Foundation
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 19, 2016 – Yesterday afternoon, van Der Merwe Associates (“VDMA”) notified the Minister of Finance’s attorneys of their client’s (the Oakbay Group of companies) (www.OakbayInvestments.co.za) intention to oppose the application issued under case number 80978/16 on 14 October 2016 – unless the Minister of Finance withdraws the application and tenders costs by this afternoon – Wednesday 19 October.
VDMA’s letter noted that the Minister of Finance’s affidavit implicated its clients in inappropriate and unlawful conduct. The affidavit also insinuated that VDMA’s clients would “expose the fiscus not only to loss of tax revenue but also put the burden of mining rehabilitation on the fiscus.” which VDMA noted was “uncalled for, malicious and nothing but vexatious.”
VDMA’s client disproved this earlier this week with evidence of the transfer of the Optimum Rehabilitation Trust Fund from Standard Bank to Bank of Baroda, which followed a request by Advocate Thuli Madonsela on 4 October 2016.
VDMA advised its client to oppose the Minister of Finance’s application, obtain all the necessary information from the relevant role players and ask for punitive costs order against dismissal of the application.
VDMA’s letter also stated that the Minister of Finance’s letter has been launched with the financial resources of the tax payer. VDMA’s client does not dispute that Minister of Finance’s is not by law compelled or obliged to intervene in the relationship between VDMA’s clients and the commercial banks. However, VDMA noted that to spend tax payers’ money in “a reckless and inappropriate manner” would constitute a contravention of the provisions of the Public Management Act, No.1 of 1999 – which would warrant “further action against those officials responsible for same.”
Furthermore, VDMA noted that:
“In order that we do not expose the fiscus unnecessarily to costs we propose that the application be withdrawn” – that the Minister of Finance’s application is withdrawn and that the Minister of Finance’s tenders VDMA’s client’s costs, before close of business on 19 October 2016.
VDMA reiterated that the purpose of its letter was to offer the Minister of Finance the opportunity to save taxpayers money.
VDMA also noted that its clients “would like” to put their formal version before court since the Minister of Finance has chosen that forum, so if the application is not withdrawn then “the matter must proceed and we will gladly do the necessary in order to restore the misrepresentation created by the papers.”
VDMA concluded its letter by noting that the Minister of Finance had made “defamatory and untrue remarks towards members of the Gupta Family by insinuating that they have been involved in inappropriate conduct” and that “their rights remain strictly reserved.”
This morning, attorneys for the Minister of Finance declined the offer to withdraw the application and tender COSTs.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 18, 2016 – Gupta Family lawyer, Van Der Merwe Associates, releases a statement on behalf of Mr. Ajay Gupta and Oakbay Investments (www.OakbayInvestments.co.za) in response to the affidavit from Pravin Gordhan.
To reiterate, we are delighted to have received this application. The truth always comes out in the end and we look forward to clearing our name in court.
“South African President Jacob Zuma has asked the courts to prevent the release of the findings of a probe into alleged political interference. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is expected to announce her preliminary findings from an investigation into the Guptas, a controversial family with close ties to Zuma. They’re accused of using their relationship with the president to influence Cabinet appointments. Madonsela’s report can’t be released until the court has ruled on Zuma’s request. Many locals have expressed their disappointment with the president’s actions, saying the interdict is suspicious” (CCTV Africa, 2016)