Planned Defence job losses in the Uists, Raasay and St Kilda
17 June 2009
Responding to the announcement of planned defence job losses in the Uists and on Raasay and St. Kilda, Peter Peacock, Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands said,
"This is a very disappointing development and represents a real blow to the economy of the islands.
"It is not clear to me whether this is a move initiated by Qinetiq to maximise their convenience and profits within an existing contract framework, or is being driven by specific defence needs.
"It is hard to see how it is driven by defence needs as the Uists and Raasay are facilities which offers a unique combination of assets that it seems to me impossible to replicate elsewhere in quite the same way - that is why the facilities have been there for so many years.
"The sums of money involved represent very small cash savings for the MoD of around £2M per year and my colleagues and I will work with others to make as strong a case as possible for the retention of facilities and jobs within the consultation announced.
"I note that the MoD say they will consider workable alternatives and that is a task everyone must look at closely.
"I have already pledged my support to the Comraihle in any constructive representations they wish to make to the MOD and UK Government and will similarity work with Highland Council and HIE to see what can be done to effectively challenge the proposals.
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