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Does taxpayer finance and private business mix?

The almost certain collapse of talks between the SNP (head of the Scottish executive) and the drinks firm Diageo, in relation to potentially 900 job losses at the Kilmarnock plant, have further highlighted the difficulties of trying to interact taxpayer finance with private businesses.

The SNP, the ruling party in the Scottish executive, has been very vocal in its dismay at the decision of Diageo to close down the plant even though the group will be investing in other parts of Scotland. After a period of reflection the SNP brought forward a new business plan which interacted taxpayer finance with Diageo's plans for the future in order to try and save at least some of the 900 jobs under threat. However, Diageo seem set to walk away from this particular lifeline citing the fact that the company never asked for taxpayer finance and has received little real support from the SNP - until the public picked up the story.

The problem is that any move by a leading political party to inject taxpayer money into a private business will always attract accusations of political motivation, more so as we approach the next general election. Whether this is the case are not, if the governing party in any one part of the UK decides to help one company from the private sector, does this not give them an obligation to help all of them?

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