THE BUSINESS Secretary, Vince Cable, is expected to claim credit for economic improvements in Scotland during a visit to Glasgow today.
Cable, a senior Liberal Democrat in the coalition Government, is in the city to meet trade union members and speak at the headquarters of engineering firm Weir Group.
“Since May 2010, when the coalition came to power, unemployment has dropped by 40,000 - 54,000 lower than the peak in 2012 - and an extra 148,000 people are now in work,” he is expected to say.
“This hasn’t happened by accident. The coalition has taken various steps to make the job market fairer, to improve opportunities and minimise exploitation.
“Our efforts apply to Scotland as they do to Wales, Northern Ireland and England.”
His speech will focus on the business case for a vote against Scottish independence in the referendum this September.
The single market gives benefits to workers across Britain, he argues. Leaving the UK would hold back efforts to raise living standards, he is expected to claim.
“To continue job creation, to raise living standards across the UK, we need balanced economic growth to maintain business confidence and to encourage investment,” he will say.
“I don’t believe Scottish independence can sustain these conditions as effectively and efficiently as the UK.”
He will continue: “Scottish businesses are better-off with a UK-wide approach to industrial policy; a UK-wide approach to public investment in science and infrastructure; with a single, flexible labour market operating under one set of rules with no barriers to movement.
“This is precisely what business wants and needs, whether in Galashiels or Gillingham, Gateshead or Glasgow.
“It’s what will attract international investors to these shores. It offers the best prospects for long-term, well-paid, high-skilled jobs.”
The SNP highlighted previous comments from Mr Cable in which he likened London to a “giant suction machine” holding back improvements in other parts of the UK.
SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie said: “Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, richer per head than the UK, France and Japan.
“With a ‘Yes’ vote we can make this wealth work for all the people and put Scotland first, in contrast to the Westminster system obsessed with London, which even the UK Government now admit harms Scotland’s economy.”