A report has claimed that the Scottish economy ‘cannot do without’ naval shipbuilding contracts.
The importance of Royal Navy shipbuilding contracts to the Scottish economy has been discussed in a report commissioned by GMB Scotland.
An economic analysis of the Scottish defence sector by the Fraser of Allander Institute revealed that 5,943 jobs and £162.7 million in wages are supported by BAE’s yards on the Upper Clyde; and 3,870 jobs and £105.9 million in wages are supported by the Rosyth dockyard in Fife.
The report also presents a challenge for the Scottish Government to demonstrate how they would sustain these jobs and wages in the absence of MoD contracts in a future independent Scotland.
The MoD contracts in question, by the way, are complex warships like frigates and destroyers.
GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said:
“This report was commissioned following the delays to the type-26 programme and because of the long-term frustrations felt by our members across the sector after years of being used as a political football.
One job on the Upper Clyde alone supports an additional 1.18 jobs across Scotland so for the future of Scottish shipbuilding and our long-term economic prosperity it is imperative that the UK government makes good on the promised frigate programme.
Furthermore, and with a second independence referendum a real possibility, the Scottish government needs to demonstrate to our members how they would plan to sustain their jobs, wages, pensions, skills and local communities without MoD investment.
This report is a reality check and shows that the fragile Scottish economy cannot do without the thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds in wages supported by navy shipbuilding contracts.”
The issue of UK ncts on the Clyde has become controversial after the 2014 Independence Referendum and even more so recently when several parties indicated that the work would not go to an independent country.
“No warships would have been built on the Clyde, because the United Kingdom Government would not have chosen to build them there.”
The full statement was made by then Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Phillip Dunne in response to a question from Brendan O’Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute, regarding the Type 26 frigates.
“What I can confirm to the hon. Gentleman is that, had the independence vote gone the way that he and his colleagues would have liked, no warships would have been built on the Clyde, because the United Kingdom Government would not have chosen to build them there; we made that very clear.
As it is, as I have just confirmed to the House, we will be proceeding with the construction of eight complex Type 26 warships on the Clyde as and when the programme is ready.”