AYR, Scotland – According to government officials and a Trump executive, Scottish golf courses owned by President Donald Trump’s businesses are benefiting companies from more than $ 1 million in taxpayers’ money under a Scottish government-run coronavirus program.
The financial relief is intended to help the country’s tourism and leisure industry, which has been damaged by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump Organization has a 45-hole golf resort in Turnberry, a famous golf course on Scotland’s windy west coast, and a smaller golf course and hotel north of Aberdeenshire called Trump International Scotland.
Corona virus restrictions have resulted in shops and sports facilities across Scotland and the rest of the UK having to be closed. The Scottish Government has offered tax relief to affected companies in the form of tax breaks to boost tourism and hospitality.
Kenny Ross, a spokesman for the South Ayrshire Council, one of the two local authorities responsible for managing this tax relief in the region, confirmed to NBC News that the council is currently undertaking an exercise to “grant this relief to all eligible companies that will contain Trump Turnberry. “
Scotland has had its own legislation since the 1990s, which is separate from the British Parliament in London.
The Scottish legislature is responsible for providing certain public services and passing tax laws. Both the Scottish and UK governments have taken measures to support businesses affected by the Coronavirus standstill.
Trump’s business in Scotland could receive around £ 900,000 ($ 1.14 million) in tax relief from the Scottish government program, according to calculations by NBC News, after publicly available ratings for the two golf companies were published on a Scottish government website .
Neither Trump International nor Trump Turnberry have made a profit in the past five years, according to public records from Companies House, a government agency that registers company information.
The bailout was first reported by The Guardian newspaper.
When asked whether taxpayers would help save Trump’s businesses, Scottish government spokesman Derek Watson said the government supports all businesses across Scotland.
He said it was “up to the local authorities to determine eligibility for interest relief based on Scottish government legislation.”
White House officials were not immediately available for comments.
Trump was last in Scotland to play a round of golf at his Turnberry Resort in July 2018 after his first official state visit to the UK, which included tea with Queen Elizabeth II. Trump often plays golf at his resorts in Florida and Virginia.
According to Reuters, Trump stepped down as director of the Turnberry business when he took office in January 2017.
In the United States, a $ 3 trillion corona virus spending plan approved by Congress in late March specifically prohibited Trump or his family members from receiving the benefits.
Trump’s Scottish business did not explicitly confirm the level of tax benefit the company would receive from the government, nor did it comment on how much the company was affected by the pandemic.
Sarah Malone, Trump International Scotland’s executive vice president, however said that government interest rate relief is “automatically granted to those affected” when requested.
“Government programs are designed to protect jobs and businesses affected by this global crisis and provide financial support to those who cannot work,” she said in a statement.
Trump shared a tweet that his son Eric aired early Thursday and announces that the Trump Doral Resort in Miami will reopen this month. The president noted that the Trump family had not asked the federal government for funds.