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Comment: Why didn't the Government pull the plug on DeLorean sooner?

Published 07 October 2015

So why didn’t the Government pull the plug on the DeLorean project earlier? Well, ministers were faced with a stark choice: continue throwing money at the problem, or face the consequences.

And those consequences were huge.

Top of the list was job losses. In total, 2600 jobs were expected to be lost if funding was withdrawn and the company broken up and sold.

But that figure was just at DMC. Several hundred more jobs would’ve been made redundant at suppliers and sub-contractors. Far from ideal in Northern Ireland, where unemployment already stood at 19%.

But the bad news didn’t stop there.

There was also the predicted cost to the exchequer of having all those people out of work. The cost of the social security support for the displaced workers in Northern Ireland was estimated at £5.5m a year, and the loss of around £6.3m a year in National Insurance and tax contributions.

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