Leader comment: Public response to Kiaim workers shows the true spirit of Christmas

THIS Christmas has brought with it bad news for hundreds of Scottish workers, laid off without pay on December 24.

A total of 310 staff at the Kaiam computer components plants in Livingston received the bleak news as they should have been preparing to celebrate with friends and family. Though it is not a long-term solution to the hardship many will now face, the fact that more than £17,000 had been raised to help families in just three days of crowdfunding is heartening. If the true story of Christmas is about reaching out to those less lucky then every person who has donated to this fund has played their part perfectly.

There are - rightly - now demands for answers about government grants given to private companies. As recently as 2014, Kaiam received £850,000 from Scottish Enterprise to expand the Livingston site. Taxpayers will surely wonder what guarantees were offered before this money was handed over. The generosity of those supporting newly-unemployed workers is foremost in our minds today but attention must turn to whether the grant given to Kaiam was justified.