Concern as defence jobs consultation closes
As the consultation closes over the future of 125 defence jobs at a rocket testing facility and its associated sites in the Hebrides, Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil has appealed to UK Government to take account of the social and economic consequences of the job loses.
Mr MacNeil said:
“The loss of these jobs would be a devastating blow for our fragile island economy, and the UK Government have a social and economic responsibility to stop these cuts from going ahead.
“The community campaign has won cross-party backing, and the Labour Government should get behind that consensus.
“We are talking about one in six jobs being lost in an already fragile community, and the impact of that would be a hammer-blow. In the teeth of recession these job loses could not come at a worse moment, and it would be unforgivable if UK Ministers did nothing to stop these cuts.
“QinetiQ, who operate the sites, is the privatised research arm of the Ministry of Defence, and so the buck stops with the UK Government – Labour Ministers must take immediate action to reverse what would be a reckless decision.”
The consultation on job losses at the rocket test range and its associated sites was announced on 17 June. The sites involved are on South Uist, Benbecula and Hirta, St Kilda. The sites are operated QinetiQ - a privatised research arm of the Ministry of Defence.