Sunday, 06 October 2019 06:24

TORIES SOUND THE RETREAT FOR DEFENCE IN SCOTLAND

SNP: SCOTLAND’S MILITARY FOOTPRINT BEING SYSTEMATICALLY DESTROYED BY UK GOV

The UK Tory government has cut 2,190 military and civilian jobs in Scotland since 2012, new figures from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe) have shown.

The figures show a 14% reduction in the MoD headcount across a range of Scottish sites – with South Ayrshire losing all of its military personnel since 2012 and Stirling losing almost 50% of its MoD jobs.

In 2014, the Better Together campaign promised there would be 12,500 Armed Forces personnel in Scotland by 2020: a commitment the MoD is on course to miss by an incredible 25%, with less than 10,000 personnel currently employed in Scotland.

The SNP’s Defence Spokesperson, Stewart McDonald MP, has blamed “misguided” Tory policies for the job losses after the UK government earmarked a number of military bases across Scotland for closure – with the Army also set to withdraw from its historic heartland at Fort George, near Inverness.

The SNP supports further spending on conventional defence infrastructure and jobs in Scotland while arguing vociferously against the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system at a cost of £205 billion to the taxpayer.

Commenting, SNP MP Stewart McDonald said:

“Scotland’s military footprint has been systematically hollowed out by the UK Tory government – landing a devastating blow to communities across the country.  

“Years of brutal Tory cuts have removed any trace of the Army from large parts of Scotland with absolutely no regard for the jobs that depend on a local military presence.

“Of course it’s good news that the UK government has reversed their decision to close RM Condor airfield in Angus, and defer the closure of Redford Barracks in Edinburgh to 2025, but they aren’t done wielding the axe yet.

“Truly historic military sites are being purposefully run into the ground by the MoD before they are closed for good in the next few years - and to add insult to injury, we know that these closures aren’t even expected to be cost effective.

“At a time when Scotland and the UK is facing an increase in threats coming from the North Atlantic, we also have no major surface warships in Scotland and a shrinking Army footprint – communities around the country have become familiar with the sound of Tories sounding the retreat for Defence in Scotland.

“The MoD must ditch these plans to close our vital military bases in Scotland – an unjustified and poorly planned decision.”


Figures attached here

‘Delivering the defence estate’ - report published by National Audit Office

BBC report – ‘Run-down MoD estate threat to defence, says audit watchdog’:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37978589

Ministry of Defence - Location of UK regular service and civilian personnel annual statistics: 2019 
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/location-of-uk-regular-service-and-civilian-personnel-annual-statistics-2019

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