Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds has expressed major concerns about reported plans to make significant cuts to the Armed Forces.
The reports, covered in the Sunday Times today, outline how the UK Government is making plans for cuts of up to 5% across all Departments, with Defence in particular set to be hard cut.
Despite the Conservative Manfiesto pledging to protect and increase defence spending, plans are being drawn up which would see:
- A reduction of 19,000 Army Soldiers,
- The abolition of the dedicated Commando Brigade,
- All Royal Navy Minehunters being retired,
- The closure of many RAF Airbases,
- Scrapping of the RAF's Hercules Transport Planes and Puma Helicopters.
These moves are reportedly being driven by Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister's disgraced advsior, who has favours greater investment in space warfare and artificial intellegence.
In response, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for the UK Government to 'come clean' about their plans and outline what affect they would have on Barracks towns such as Brecon and Cawdor.
Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“If these reports are true, then the Conservatives have a lot to answer for. Just 8 months ago they were promising to protect our armed forces, now they are planning to gut them.
"Cuts of this scale would cripple the ability of our armed forces to respond to situations, diminish our standing on the world stage and potentially jepordise our place in NATO.
“These cuts would also affect barracks towns, such as Brecon and Cawdor. These barracks form a key part of the local economy and community, a position any cut would massively jepordise.
"The Conservatives must come clean about their planned cuts and be upfront with people. They cannot claim to be the party protecting our armed forces while simultaneously planning huge cuts from the shadows.
"I will be writing to the Secretary of State for Defence to press this issue and demand answers."