Donald Trump's firm in Scotland claimed £575,000 in furlough despite axing staff

The Trump Organisation has been criticised after it claimed up to £575,000 in furlough for its Scottish resorts despite making redundancies. 

The former US president’s firm claimed as much as £500,000 from the scheme for its flagship Scottish resort in Turnberry, Ayrshire, despite axing staff there. 

Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire resort received between £35,000 and £75,000, the Scotsman reported.

While the furlough scheme has been operational since March 2020, HMRC’s data only details payments claimed by employers during December and January.

Union bosses said sacking staff while claiming furlough made a ‘mockery’ of a scheme designed to ensure employers retain workers.

They said at least 66 jobs had been lost at Turnberry since last summer, with some staff rehired on ‘inferior’ terms – and have now called for HMRC to investigate.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: ‘It is clear to us that at the very least the principles of the job retention scheme appear to have been breached by the Trump Organisation and that should now be subjected to a detailed and forensic investigation by HMRC.

‘It’s a scandal and as we slowly emerge from lockdown, we are calling for any discarded staff to be re-engaged on decent pay and conditions, and for that same principle to be applied to new employees as well.’


The latest accounts for Turnberry, which predate the pandemic, show it employed an average monthly number of 541 staff in 2009, with an annual wage bill of £8.9 million.

Trump’s Aberdeenshire resort employed 84 staff, with a £1.9m wage bill.

Scottish Labour’s Colin Smyth said it was ‘only the tip of the iceberg’.

He added: ‘It’s appalling that Trump has been getting bailouts from the UK Government on one hand while handing out redundancy notices to workers with the other.’

There is no suggestion of impropriety on the part of Mr Trump’s companies, which are entitled to access the furlough initiative.

Metro.co.uk has contacted the Trump Organisation for comment.

Gleneagles Hotel received between £1.5m and £3.5m over the two-month period.

Its headcount exceeds Mr Trump’s firms, with an average monthly number of 661 full-time and 306 part-time staff in 2019 and a wage bill of £23.8m.

The Old Course in St Andrews, Fife, received between £200,000 and £500,000 – it had an average of 455 monthly employees in 2019, with a wage bill of £6.7m.

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