Monthly Archives: May 2000

Edinburgh recieved a jobs boost today following the Government’s announcement today that it had chosen the METEOR missile offered by Matra Bae Dynamics for the new Eurofighter aircraft and that it intended to procure new air transport for Britain’s armed forces.

Defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, told the House of Commons that, following a keenly fought competition with the US defence company, Rartheon, he had concluded that the METEOR missile was “likely to best meet the RAF’s needs over the life of the aircraft.”

In a related announcement, he added tha, while in the short term the Government would lease four C-17 aircraft from the Boeing Company to meet its interim transport needs, the A400M European collaborative aircraft had been selected to meet the armed forces’ long-term need for strategic airlift as defined by the Government’s Strategic Defence Review.

It is understood that the decision to select METEOR will help create or sustain some 200 new jobs at Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS) sites across Britain, including those at Edinburgh and Hillend in Fife. AMS in Edinburgh also has a potential interest in both the C-17 and A400M programmes.

Mr Hoon said:

“This decision will not only massively boost the strength of our armed forces, enabling them to pack a greater punch and deploy more rapidly to trouble spots abroad. It is also fantastic news for Scotland’s manufacturing industry.”

BAE systems have estimated that the A400M programme will directly create of sustain up to 3,400 long-term, high-skill, high-wage jobs across Britain, notably in design and advanced manufacturing and at key locations such as Filton, Broughton and Prestwick. They have also calculated that indirect employment could bring this figure to over 10,000.

Gavin Strang welcomed the Defence secretary’s announcement:

“This is great news for Edinburgh and great news for Scotland. It shows Labour’s commitment to Scotland’s manufacturing industry – in particular, its aerospace industry.

“AMS is well placed to benefit from both of these programmes. In the short term, the leasing of four C-17s will help maintain jobs at Marconi, while in the longer term the A400M could potentially mean new jobs for Edinburgh.

“These announcements show the difference a Labour Government makes. They are proof positive, if proof were needed, that Labour has not forgotton Scotland’s manufacturing industry.

“These are high quality, high value added jobs which will be secured. This shows the benefit which Scotland gets from UK defence orders.

“This decision comes on top of the Eurofighter contract which also benfited Marconi, and follows on from the Ministry of Defence’s decision to base the Army’s Northern district Headquarters at Craigiehall and to site the Former Royal Yacht, Britania, at Leith. All of these are benefits which come from Scotland being part of the UK.’

Families receiving WFTC cash boost

Gavin Strang MP backs long-term strategy to tackle child poverty.

Gavin Strang, Labour MP for Edinburgh East & Musselburgh, has released new figures showing that 1100 families in Edinburgh East & Musselburgh are already receiving the Working Families Tax Credit – worth an average of £24 per week and increased in Budget 2000.

Gavin Strang said that tackling child poverty – to give every child the best start in life – would continue to be a key priority in Edinburgh East & Musselburgh.

Gavin Strang MP said:

‘1100 hard-working families in Edinburgh East & Musselburgh are already receiving the Working Families Tax Credit which will rise this year and next year – ensuring a minimum income of £214 a week from next year.

‘I am convinced that there are many more who are eligible and urge working parents who think they may be due a little extra help to call the free WFTC Hotline on 0800 597 5976.

‘With the record rise in child benefit introduced this year – to £15 a week for the first child – these are crucial parts of the government’s long term strategy to tackle child poverty – which will help parents in Edinburgh East & Musselburgh to give their children the best start in life. Already this strategy has helped lift nearly 1 million children out of poverty.

‘The Tories and the Liberals opposed the working families tax credit. They also opposed the record increases in child benefit.

‘Successive Tory governments hurt hard-working families in the past and would do it again by abolishing the working families tax credit and opposing Labour increases in child benefit.

‘I’ll continue to meet with families and parents throughout Edinburgh East & Musselburgh to discuss our long-term plans and what more Labour will be doing to tackle child poverty.’