Donald Trump’s Scottish Golf Courses have received £ 3million ($ 4million) in UK government Covid support programs, with companies reporting losses of more than £ 5million ($ 6.7million) ).
In accounts filed on Christmas Eve, Trump Turnberry said he received more than £ 2.1million ($ 2.8million) from the UK government’s leave program, which subsidized the salaries of staff unable to work in due to the pandemic.
Trump International, the owner of Trump’s only other Scottish golf course in Aberdeenshire, received £ 452,000 ($ 605,000) in leave payments. “The property has been closed for long periods of time due to the impact of Covid-19 and operational and travel restrictions imposed by the UK government,” the company said in its annual report of directors.
Most bookings for Trump’s Scottish hotels, restaurants and golf courses come from international visitors. However, travel restrictions meant they couldn’t visit for much of 2020.
Despite the payments, which were intended to prevent job losses during the pandemic, Trump International still cut several jobs. “The government support has been helpful in keeping as many jobs as possible, however, the uncertainty of the duration of the support and the continued impact of the pandemic have necessitated layoffs,” the accounts for 2020 said. About 20 jobs were cut at Trump International during the year. .
The accounts of Golf Recreation Scotland Limited, owner of Trump Turnberry on the west coast of Scotland, reported losses of £ 3.4million ($ 4.5million) for 2020. Trump International’s losses stand at amounted to £ 1.3million ($ 1.7million).
Both sets of accounts were signed by Eric Trump, son of Donald Trump and sole director of Trump Turnberry. Trump International is being held on behalf of Eric and Donald Trump.
Brexit makes life difficult for Trump
In addition to the Covid restrictions, Trump’s accounts blame Brexit for losses at his golf resorts. Trump Turnberry said that “Brexit has also had an impact on our business”.
Driver availability, certain product lines and import duties at Trump Turnberry have all been affected by Britain’s departure from the European Union, Golf Recreation Scotland said.
Donald Trump supported Britain’s departure from the European Union, calling it a “wonderful thing” in 2017. He then advised former British Prime Minister Theresa May to “withdraw” from negotiations with the European Union if a favorable Brexit deal cannot be reached. .
Finally, inflation had an impact on Trump Turnberry’s profits, as it means “increasing wages to attract staff due to increased activity levels.” This will have an impact on operating margins in 2021, the company warns.
Trump is racking up millions in trade losses
While 2020 has been a bad year for Trump’s Scottish businesses, reporting a loss is nothing new. Trump opened Trump International in 2012 and bought Turnberry in 2014, but neither golf course has ever made a profit, according to accounts filed with the UK’s Companies House.
This has led to suspicions regarding its financing of golf courses. In February 2021, Scottish Minister Patrick Harvie told the Scottish Parliament that “there are big questions about Donald Trump’s business relationship in Scotland, including the purchase of the Turnberry golf complex during a global financial crisis”.
A motion to investigate Trump using an “unexplained wealth order” was ultimately rejected by the Scottish Parliament. Last month, a judicial review said the Scottish parliament had no “duty” to investigate Trump after campaign by Avaaz, a human rights group, to pursue wealth order unexplained.
Concerns about Trump’s finances in Scotland have not gone away, however, and this set of accounts will raise further questions as to why the former president continues to keep two loss-making companies he has not visited in decades. years.