An urgent parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) should be set up and an audit carried out, the Scottish Conservatives have said.
BiFab announced on Thursday that it was entering administration after Scottish ministers ruled out nationalising the company and claimed it would be unlawful under state aid rules to continue financially supporting the yards.
The business was rescued by the Scottish Government in 2017 and bought by Canada-based DF Barnes in 2018, but with the Government as the “primary financiers”.
A £2 billion deal for BiFab to manufacture eight wind turbine jackets at its yard in Methil, Fife, recently collapsed as about 500 staff were preparing to return to work on it.
Following news that BiFab is in administration, Scottish Tory finance spokesman Murdo Fraser accused the Government of failing workers.
Mr Fraser, who is also a Fife MSP, said: “BiFab’s administration could not have come at a worse time for the workers in the run-up to Christmas and my thoughts are with them and their families.
“They deserve better than the way the SNP have shambolically handled operations at these yards, and that’s why we must have a parliamentary inquiry and an urgent audit to find out what exactly has gone wrong here.
“As usual, SNP ministers were quick to boast about having saved jobs, but are hiding away from their responsibilities now that the yards are in administration.
“Instead of trying to blame everyone else for their failures, they need to show leadership and be held accountable for their bad decision making.
“An audit is necessary to determine how SNP ministers failed so spectacularly while handing over more than £50 million of public money.”
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has said the Scottish Government is committed to working with administrators and trade unions to find a new future for the company’s yards, which are in Fife and on Lewis.
She said: “I know this will be an extremely worrying time for BiFab’s workers and we will continue to do everything in our power to support them and stand ready to work with any company interested in taking on the yards.
“The Scottish Government has been working for more than three years to support BiFab through the financial difficulties it has faced and remains committed to securing a future for the yards and the workforce.
“As a minority shareholder, we have been exhaustive in our consideration of the options available to us to support BiFab.
“We will now work with the administrators and trade unions to secure a new future for the BiFab yards in Fife and the Western Isles, helping ensure they are able to diversify and compete in this competitive market.”
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