Swinney hosts meeting over fate of Halls

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Finance Secretary John Swinney was today set to convene the second meeting of a crisis task force aimed at saving the closure-threatened Halls of Broxburn.

The Taskforce was established to safeguard jobs following the decision by Vion Food UK to consult on the future of its plant at Broxburn.

Mr Swinney is expected to provide an update after the meeting on what progress they have made so far.

The meeting follows a reports suggested the closure of the plant, which would mean the loss of 1700 jobs in the local area, could in fact have a far greater impact on the rest of the country.

Economic studies have indicated that the knock-on effect the closure of the factory would have on the farming industry in Scotland and associated businesses would be far worse, with the total job losses expected to be 3400, and a cost to the economy of some 
£133 million.

Lawrence Wason, of the Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers, said: “There are not many job opportunities in West Lothian. If Hall’s closed it would have a huge impact as often it is not just one person in a family working there.

“It would have an impact on the economy with people claiming benefits, not paying income tax or national insurance. It would also have an impact on other businesses like the pig farmers.”