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Sunk costs are sunk costs

SNP ministers have overruled their civil servants and ordered taxpayers’ money be spent finishing a scandal-hit ferry at a nationalised shipyard despite accepting it would be cheaper to start from scratch elsewhere.

Gregor Irwin, the Scottish government’s most senior mandarin in charge of the economy, said that he could no longer conclude that building the vessel at Ferguson Marine provided “value for money” for the public purse.

Of course they want to finish it. Don;t want anyone reading the detailed accounts of the failure now, do we?

10 thoughts on “Sunk costs are sunk costs”

  1. The reason appears to be that, without the political pork, the shipyard will close. So probably another reason to cut off the supply rather than extend it.

    Or is it going to be like the Lintilla clones, they have to start another ferry before the current one leaves the yard and then no-ones prepared to cut off the funding?

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    On a similar theme has Spud lost his rag yet because the SNP appear to be acknowledging the existence of the Laffer Curve, which IIRC Spud flatly denies.

    “ SNP ministers are carrying out “robust analysis” to investigate whether a further tax hike for middle and higher earners will push key workers away from Scotland.

    Recent research found that 36 per cent of people would consider relocating to another part of the UK if Scottish income tax was increased further.”

  3. BiND – they’ve already decided to put taxes up, the “robust analysis” is to pretend this has something to do with what Scottish people want or need.

    See also: tranny hormones for 12 year olds.

  4. Bloke In Scotland

    It was always cheaper to have the boats built elsewhere. It was also cheaper to give the workers at the Scottish yard a big fat cheque each and build the ships elsewhere – as a bonus we would have got the boats as well.

  5. Surreptitious Evil

    It was also cheaper to give the workers at the Scottish yard a big fat cheque each and build the ships elsewhere

    Ditto Westland workers and building our own Apache rather than modifying a US build queue to our spec. There, iirc, it was costed (and many years ago) at over £1m per worker.

  6. There, iirc, it was costed (and many years ago) at over £1m per worker.

    Pikers. Justin is managing to spend $5M (CAD) per job “created” by VW at their battery factory. FFS – give ’em a cheque and tell them to go live on the investment return.
    No doubt, within a decade we will be asked for more money, and the sunk cost argument will be a big part of the rationale.

  7. You have me trembling in terror at what’s going to happen when we (try to) build nuclear submarines in Adelaide.

    Perhaps I’m thinking of fuckup of the pumped storage facility in the Snowy Mountains. One of the tunnelling machines is stuck in the tunnel.

  8. Maybe someone noticed that it will take longer to start again from scratch. There has only been ONE ferry built (to completion and launch) for Caledonian MacBrayne since SNP acquired power in Caledonia/Alba. Ferry services are now unreliable since there may not be a thirty-year-old boat available to transport people and cars.
    I was staggered (almost shocked) to observe last week that the state-owned DoE had hired a private-sector bus/coach company to replace the state-owned MacBrayne’s school bus service in the Western Isles. How bad does it need to be for some civil servant employed by a hard-left government to switch from a public-sector bus company to a private sector one?

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