Thursday, 17 March 2016

Locals always lose when firms
go bust

It’s now six months since the administrator was called in to wind up Norprint in Boston – but at least some of the staff have received a bit of good news.
They have won an employment tribunal judgment for the “complete lack of consultation” after being ignored when the company went under because they were on holiday – and have been awarded a 90-day payment, which means that they will share an estimated £70,000.
Even so, it is likely that   it will be the government’s Redundancy Payments Office that foots the bill – which of course means the taxpayer.
It never surprises us that the victims of a company collapse such as this are always the people who can least afford it – and could do well without the extra stress of having to chase their rights following the blow of being made redundant.
As far as we can tell none of the banks have lost a penny of the hundreds of thousands that were owed by the company – whilst the staff have had to go cap in hand and be paid with taxpayer cash – some of which is doubtless theirs in any case.
An updated report says that since an administrator was appointed at the end of July last year, debts totalling £1,823,033 have been collected. It's estimated that there will be further collections of £40,000 but write-offs of £988,237 are anticipated – two thirds of which – £679,463 – are intercompany debts.
But unless you got your name at the top of the preferred list, it's not good news for the company's unsecured creditors – who it's reckoned are owed about £5,150,000.
So far claims of £705,154 had been received but have not been agreed and it’s unlikely that there will be enough money to pay anything at all.
This will  hit a number of Boston companies  owed what for them are most likely big sums – £10,000 for just two local businesses alone – and Boston Borough Council (which means us taxpayers yet again)  is owed more than £13,500 ... presumably in business rates.
When Norprint when bust it, and its sister company Magnadata were due to vacate their shared site by the end of December last year. However, the administrator obtained a three-month extension and by remarkable coincidence as the new expiry date neared, Magnadata announced that it was making most of its remaining staff redundant.
But as we said the last time that we reported on the Norprint disaster there are always winners – and between 30th July last year and 29th January this year the administrators pocketed the handsome sum of more than £80,000 for 590 hours work.
The administrator reckons that future fees will total of £30,000 before the job ends a year after it began.
However, he says that he may need to extend the period for another year if the position with the remaining book debts and sale of “intellectual property” are not finalised before this automatic end date.
Sounds like there might be jam tomorrow – for some!

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