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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 March, 2005, 19:31 GMT
Scale of RAF job losses revealed
Nimrod at RAF Kinloss
RAF Kinloss, which has three Nimrod squadrons, will be hit by the cuts
About 1,000 RAF workers in Scotland are to lose their jobs under UK Government plans to cut the armed forces.

RAF Lossiemouth will suffer 700 job cuts, the base at Kinloss 180 and a further 160 will go at RAF Leuchars.

Angus Robertson, the Nationalist MP for Moray, said it was "a sad day" and criticised the Ministry of Defence for the way the cuts were announced.

On Thursday, the Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram outlined in a written statement where those cuts would fall.

Under the MoD's Future Capabilities white paper, he said the RAF's total strength was to be cut from 48,900 to 41,000 by 2008.

It's utterly scandalous the way the MoD has allowed this news to come out
Angus Robertson
SNP MP for Moray

Mr Robertson said the RAF workers deserved better treatment from the MoD.

"It's a sad, sad day that we are going to see hundreds of jobs lost in Moray and the rest of Scotland," he said.

"It's utterly scandalous the way the MoD has allowed this news to come out. It has manipulated parliament and manipulated the service community. It's utterly unacceptable.

'Personal blow'

"I'm raising this in the House of Commons as a point of order.

"Quite how people feel they are being treated when they know their jobs are being lost, it must be devastating for them."

The Leader of the House of Commons, Peter Hain, said the defence secretary was aware of the concerns raised over the job losses in Scotland.

Alasdair Urquhart, vice-convener of Moray Council, said the cuts were "a major blow" to the local economy and he believed Moray had suffered a disproportionate number of losses.

Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife, which includes RAF Leuchars, criticised the government for announcing the job losses in a written statement.

RAF Lossiemouth maintenance staff
RAF Lossiemouth will be forced to shed 700 jobs

He said: "For every one of these 160 people, this will be a personal blow and inevitably the job losses will have an affect on the local economy.

"All the more reason for the defence minister to come to the House of Commons to explain why these proposals are being made."

Conservative defence spokesman Gerald Howarth said the job losses could leave the RAF overstretched.

He said: "The public are becoming accustomed to this mantra from this government of 'modernisation and efficiency' - words it uses to mask what invariably amounts to cuts and overstretch."

Last July, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon announced the biggest set of cuts for a generation, with the RAF bearing the brunt with a loss of 7,500 personnel.





SEE ALSO:
Kinloss squadron cut is confirmed
15 Dec 04 |  Scotland
RAF Kinloss faces squadron cuts
03 Nov 04 |  Scotland
Moray RAF base to lose 390 jobs
16 Sep 04 |  Scotland


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