NEW figures have revealed that the number of Ministry of Defence personnel in Scotland has dropped to a new low amid concerns that the government will not keep its commitments on doubling the size of the army north of the Border.
The latest figures provided by the Defence Analytical Services Authority (DASA) show that instead of increasing the number of military and civilian personnel has fallen by 150 in the last three months to 15,370.
The previous quarter saw a fall of 210.
And with the final bases review deciding on where units currently in Germany are to be relocated along with others in the UK due in the next few weeks, there are fears that the promise that the army will have 6,500 personnel in Scotland made by former defence secretary Liam Fox will not be met.
SNP Westminster leader and defence spokesman Angus Robertson said: “With communities still facing uncertainty over the basing review, these latest job losses show how damaging it is to let Westminster make defence decisions for Scotland. Civilian personnel have yet again borne the brunt of the cuts, with a 150 job losses this quarter on top of 260 in the last quarter.
“The statistics also reveal that while service personnel numbers have been slashed in Germany, none of them have come back to Scotland as promised by the Tories. What has happened to the promised increase in personnel numbers or investment in new facilities at Kirknewton? The UK Government is creating real uncertainty for communities in Scotland and the MoD needs to come clean about when, where or even if these troops will come back to Scotland.”
The MoD said that the decrease was a result of a redundancy programme for 30,000 regular military personnel and 32,000 civil service.
But numbers will be boosted as the Acute class submarines are relocated to Faslane and army units are moved to Scotland.
An MoD spokesman said: “As the Armed Forces reduce to the pre-agreed levels it is to be expected that there will be an increased outflow from the three services.
“However, we will continue to recruit to ensure we have enough quality junior ranks and young officers to promote up through the organisation in future.”