Brown bids to save Remploy sites

Gordon BrownFormer prime minister Gordon Brown has said there was no reason why two factories that employ disabled people should be axed, as he claimed eight potential buyers had come forward.

Mr Brown, the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, has been spearheading a campaign to save the closure-threatened Remploy factories in Fife.

He and fellow Labour MP Lindsay Roy put forward a business plan for the sites at a meeting with Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Scottish enterprise minister Fergus Ewing on Wednesday.

Following that, the two Labour politicians said eight possible new owners - six private buyers and two social enterprises - had come forward and expressed an interest in taking over the sites at Leven and Cowdenbeath.

In a statement, Mr Brown and Mr Roy said: "There is now no need to lose these factories and no reason why they should not stay operational.

"Having proved that these factories can be saved, we will not accept closure as an answer."

Mr Brown and Mr Roy, the MP for Glenrothes, vowed to continued to press the Government for transitional support to help the factories - which make lifejackets - to break even.

"We have shown how, without greater transitional help from the Government, manufacturing work would be lost to Asia from the UK, from factories which have full order books," the two men said.

"We will also ask the Scottish Government to help with the procurement of public sector and private sector contracts for Remploy while asking the Government to review high raw material costs which damage the chances of profitability.

"We do so because the Fife factories are in a unique position, with the chance to be viable because of the full order books and the international reputation of their product."

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Brown bids to save Remploy sites

They might think they're masters of the universe. We know they've dobbed the rest of us in it. After lending out recklessly, they are blamed for causing the financial crisis. Even after they had to be bailed out by taxpayers, they still give themselves obscene bonuses.

Have the power to enter your home and seize your possessions. Debt collectors are a form of bailiff-lite. They can 'only' write, phone or visit your home to talk about the debt. Don't bother bringing out the best china.

Last year's heavy snow meant lost parking revenue, as attendants were stopped from handing out as many tickets as normal. Edinburgh Council lost more than £700k in parking revenue in just two weeks. Expect parking wardens to redouble their efforts as they make up for that in the rest of 2011.

Yes, there are honourable exceptions. There are also reasons why these guys have the reputation they do.

Not as venal as some on the list. But some of these guys would persuade their granny to sell for £50,000 less than her home is really worth. Just so they can get a deal done and take their commission. It's always one story with them when you're selling. Another when you're buying.

Not independent, despite what they claim. Until big changes in the law come into effect in the next couple of years, they are paid on commission. So it's in their interest to stuff clients into whichever products pay them the most - it doesn't matter whether the product is any good or not.

These guys will charge you for yawning. But there's no fighting them. They set up the system and know best how to work it.  The ultimate parasites? But then, they earn so much money what do they care what other people think?

It's 6.30pm, the hour when hell gates open for every parent. The phone rings. It turns out to be a gentleman from Bangladesh, selling you phones in indescribably bad English.

Low barriers to entry mean spamming is on the rise. Experts expect 7 trillion spam messages to be sent this year, costing millions in lost productivity and fraud. Internet service providers are among those worst affected. They have been forced to add extra capacity to carry the messages.

An out-of-place figure on your tax return, or big fluctuation from year to year could be enough to prompt a dreaded tax inspection. Since 2009 HM Revenue and Customers have been able to check a wider range of payments than before. Previously they could only look at VAT and employer returns. Now they have the power to inspect income tax, capital gains, PAYE and corporation tax


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