Monday, 17 August 2015

New low for service personnel numbers in Scotland

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published figures which reveal the location and number of serving defence personnel in the UK – and once again the figures show disproportionately swingeing cuts in Scotland – with numbers reaching another new low.

At the same time, Westminster is determined to press ahead with the immoral and obscene Trident nuclear programme at a cost of up to £100 billion to be dumped on the Clyde despite opposition from civic Scotland – the trades unions – the Churches and the vast majority of Scotland’s elected representatives at Holyrood and Westminster.

Commenting on today’s figures, Brendan O’Hara MP, SNP Defence spokesperson said:

“These figures make for alarming reading – and confirm the continued, disproportionate cuts that successive Westminster governments have made to Scotland’s defence footprint – we are now left in the position where the total of all service and civilian personnel is at a new low of 13,180 – with the service personnel number in that figure at just 9,400.

“In the last three years of Tory led government the overall figures for England showed a decline of 11% compared with a whopping 17% in Scotland. With airbases such as Leuchars being axed we have seen Fife badly hit with a reduction from 1770 personnel to just 570 since April 2012.

“The Tories claim that they are the party of defence and yet we see time after time – they cut the defence footprint in Scotland to the bone to the point where we are left in the ridiculous situation in Scotland as a maritime nation without a single maritime patrol aircraft to defend our waters and without the proper conventional naval vessels based in Scotland, whilst Westminster is hell bent on renewing Scotland’s nuclear arsenal.’

“With plans by the UK Government to initiate a new Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) this autumn the Ministry of Defence must rule out further damaging cuts to Scotland’s defence communities who have been hit by job losses, base closures and cuts to key conventional capabilities.”
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