Stuart McMillan MSP has stated that it is ‘shameful’ that the UK Government want to renew Trident with a projected cost of £167 billion while continuing a programme of austerity and cutting the welfare budget by £12 billion.
Speaking in the Scottish Government debate on Trident, Mr McMillan said it was ‘indefensible’ for the UK Government to commit billions of pounds of public money to nuclear weapons, particularly when individuals and families across Scotland and the UK are suffering from the consequences of austerity cuts.
Mr McMillan said:
“Instead of wasting billions on bombs the UK Government should be abolishing their austerity agenda an investing for the future. That means ditching their proposed tax credit cuts which will see, on average, families losing out on £1,300 per year. In Scotland tax credits are overwhelmingly paid to working people – 95% are paid to families with children.”
“Approximately half a million children in Scotland currently benefit from tax credits – but that won’t be the case once the Tory cuts come through. Children will lose out under these cuts yet funding is being reserved for nuclear weapons.”
Mr McMillan said that there was a financial case for scrapping Trident as well as a moral one, and highlighted a joint report by the STUC and CND which outlined the potential opportunities for investment in Scotland’s economy by scrapping Trident.
“What are we missing out on when we pour money down the financial black hole of Trident? Could we not use that money more wisely, creating some public good rather than funding destruction and death?”
“Many of those employed in roles directly related to Trident have skills in mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering for which there is a demand in the wider economy.
“A joint report by the STUC and Scottish CND highlighted that there was a viable future for Faslane. It demonstrated that the replacement of Trident will cost Scotland more jobs than it will provide and that, by contrast, the funds released by Trident cancellation would create a major opportunity for productive investment in Scotland’s economy.”