The Trump Organization is seeking U.K. and Irish bailout money to help cover wages for bartenders, bagpipers and other employees furloughed from its European golf properties because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Overseas businesses owned by U.S. President Donald Trump can tap government funds meant to help retain workers. In the U.S., by contrast, they’re specifically written out of the enormous U.S. economic relief package. The result is a potentially stark gap between how workers in different countries may weather the crisis, even within the same global operation.

In the U.K. and Ireland, where Trump owns three money-losing golf resorts, companies can tap enough government cash to pay most of their workers’ salaries. It’s unclear whether the Trump Organization is paying the balance of the salaries for furloughed workers.

In the U.S., roughly 2,000 employees dismissed from Trump golf courses and hotels will have to line up with millions of others to apply for unemployment payments.

There’s nothing improper about Trump companies seeking the U.K. and Irish funds, which are offered universally to help workers weather the crisis. Even so, social-media blowback has been swift against deep-pocketed owners who could arguably weather the crisis without seeking state handouts. These include Victoria Beckham, the former Spice Girl who reportedly furloughed as many as 30 employees at her money-losing luxury fashion label.

Martin Ford, an elected official in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where one of the resorts is located, said that a similar standard should be applied to Trump, who’s boasted of his billions.

“The huge tab for this will be borne throughout the whole population through higher taxes,” said Ford, a longtime critic of the Trump resort. “If what he says about his personal wealth is true, Trump doesn’t need the money, and I don’t see why U.K. taxpayers of the future should be helping him out.”

Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s chief lawyer, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Managers at two of the sites said they had taken measures offered by the government to protect their employees.

Although the Trump family business was explicitly prohibited from benefiting from federal aid authorized in the last few weeks by Congress, its hotel in Washington is seeking separate relief on $3 million of annual rent that it pays to the U.S. General Services Administration for use of a government-owned former post office, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Trump’s three resorts in Scotland and Ireland were just gearing up for the golf season before governments ordered businesses to close last month to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Now they’re among the tens of thousands of companies seeking to tap state relief programs. Companies in the U.K. and Ireland can claim the funds to cover furloughed employees as long as they’ve been paying payroll taxes.

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