David Stewart MSP

Labour blast Tory-Lib Dem coalition over RAF Kinloss

20 October 2010

Scottish Labour’s David Stewart has blasted the Tory/Lib-Dem Coalition Government for taking a decision which has put RAF Kinloss in the firing line.

Ministers have cancelled orders for the new Nimrod as part of the UK government’s defence review.

Nine of the MRA4 surveillance aircraft were due to be based at Kinloss.

Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated that MOD personnel may in future be accommodated at the base but its future looks in extreme peril.

The future of nearby RAF Lossiemouth, home to Tornado squadrons, remains uncertain.

Scottish Labour’s Chief Whip and MSP for the Highlands and Islands, who represents the bases, David Stewart, said the closure of Kinloss would have a terrible impact on the local economy.

He stated,

“The announcement by Mr Cameron poses more questions than answers.

“RAF Kinloss, which provides well over 2,000 jobs directly and indirectly in Moray, now has the Sword of Damocles hanging over it.

“The base and is supporting industries contributes well over £50million to the economy and I urge the Government to reconsider its decision.”

He added,

“Moray has a long and proud RAF tradition going back 65 years but part of that history looks to have been killed off by the Tories and their new helpers the Lib Dems.

“The Moray bases exist for a reason.

“They are located further north than any other such bases and provide some of the best flying conditions in the UK.

“From start to finish the defence review has been conducted at reckless speed with George Osborne
in the driving seat fuelled by his crazy desire to cut faster and deeper than is safe.”

Mr Stewart’s Labour colleague Peter Peacock MSP added,

“This decision is likely to have a devastating effect on Moray and the wider regional economy of the inner Moray Firth.

“It will present Moray with the grimmest of economic futures, with little or no alternative employment locally, and little prospect of there being so as the effect of wider cuts in public spending further shrink the economy and job prospects.

He concluded: “Job losses at Kinloss could match anything we have seen in the Highlands and Islands in recent decades.

“Not since the last Tory Government when we saw the closure of the smelter in Invergordon and the pulp mill in Fort William have we seen anything on this dramatic and damaging scale.”

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Written by davidstewart

October 20, 2010 at 8:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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