George Osborne has come under attack for slashing military funding in Fife as he prepared to announce a £500 million boost for the Faslane naval base.
The Chancellor said the new wave of cash for the Royal Navy’s flagship submarine base on the Clyde would secure 6,700 jobs and create thousands more.
SNP defence spokesman Brendan O’Hara claimed spending on nuclear weapons meant Scotland’s conventional defence forces were suffering, highlighting the halving of personnel at Leuchars since it was converted from an RAF to army base.
He said: “Investment in Faslane is welcome but it must be as a conventional base and not more money spent on weapons of mass destruction.
“The reality is that Scotland has been hit by continued, disproportionate cuts to our defence footprint with less than 10,000 defence personnel.
“Axing of air bases such as Leuchars, for example, have seen Fife badly hit with a reduction from 1,770 personnel to just 570 since April 2012.
Speaking from Faslane, the Chancellor said: “I’m proud to say that this government continues to recognise that our brave armed forces across Britain have always been resolute in defence of liberty and the promotion of stability around the world.
“That’s why I recently committed to meet the Nato pledge to spend 2% of our national income on defence every year of this decade.
“There will be thousands more jobs right here in Faslane, as well as across the UK supply chain.
“Across Scotland, around 12,600 people work in defence and my defence spending commitments will secure these jobs and provide huge opportunities for defence, security and technology companies all over the UK,” he added.