Borders is suitable case for treatment

THE fragility of the local economy has once more been exposed – this time by events at Perident in Tweedbank.

Number crunchers in Norway have concluded it is cheaper to switch production of dental floss to Malaysia than it is to pay 115 staff, low-paid even by Borders standards, to carry out the work here.

Predictably, the impending move has led to much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth – no pun intended – and readers may have a sense of deja vu when our politicians hold forth after the global free market does what it does.

But arguably the most telling contribution comes from Councillor Vicky Davidson, our executive member for economic development.

She claims that out of £100million invested by the Scottish Government to create new or expanding companies in the last two years, only £67,000 has come to the Borders.

If that’s true then someone is not doing their job, because our little corner has long been the Scottish leader in the low pay and elderly population leagues.

Such disadvantages were admirably harnessed to make the case for the railway, but it now appears help from the public purse in other spheres has been sacrificed on the altar of that project.

Our elected representatives must redouble their efforts to tell the world the Borders is an attractive place to invest, a great place to live and has a loyal, adaptable workforce.

At the moment, like tourists, investors simply don’t know about us.