Replacing the Trident nuclear missile submarines will not create any new jobs but will only sustain the current workforce at a cost of nearly £20 million per employee, a report has claimed.
A study by the influential think-tank the Jimmy Reid Foundation found that a total of 600 civilian jobs depend on the existing Trident system in Scotland, with 11,520 more spread out across the UK.
It estimates the cost of renewing Trident to be £205bn, the equivalent of £18 million per person working on the project, and says that a replacement programme would not lead to any jobs boost in Scotland.
The report also warns that replacing the UK's nuclear submarine fleet would divert engineering jobs from other sectors of the economy where they are more needed, adversely affect the defence budget for years to come and will ultimately make the world less safe.
The Jimmy Reid Foundation commissioned academics Professor Mike Danson, Karen Gilmore and Dr Geoff Whittam to prepare the report, titled 'Trident and its Successor Programme – the case for non-renewal, employment diversification and contributing to peace’, which is to be presented to the Scottish parliament today.
The probe sets out the moral and philosophical, economic and defence-orientated cases for not replacing Trident, as well as examining the impact of job losses as a result of non-renewal.
The study claimed that the system offers little to the Scottish and UK economies in the way of economic activity and knock-on effects, and threatens to become a financial black hole due to "ever-increasing" costs of procurement.
The report's authors argue that money which will be spent replacing the weapons system would be put to better use mitigating the cuts to public finances brought about by the Westminster's austerity policies, and reversing job losses as a result of reduced budgets given to local government.
It also says that the renewal programme contributes to a "continued" decline in the armed forces which has already resulted in job losses on the Clyde and other defence centres, and said that the Ministry of Defence would be able to build more Type-26 frigates in Govan, Glasgow, if Trident was scrapped. (end of excerpt)
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