A NO vote against Scottish independence will be a vote against Tory tax-cutting policies and in favour of “big change”, Labour leader Ed Miliband claims today in a major speech in Edinburgh.
In an attempt to take on the Yes campaign’s argument that an independent Scotland will be rid of Conservative rule, he will argue that the only way to achieve radical change is to reject independence and vote Labour in 2015’s general election.
He will say: “My appeal to the people of Scotland is to be part of our mission to change Britain.
“Scotland has always thought big and the way to think big in the 21st century is by changing the United Kingdom.”
Mr Miliband will highlight the significant role that Scots including David Hume, Adam Smith, Keir Hardie, Tom Johnston, Jennie Lee and John Smith have played over the history of the Union.
“Every time the United Kingdom has faced huge challenges, the people of Scotland have been there leading the way,” he will say. “Every time there has been a need for big economic and political change, the people of Scotland have been instrumental in making it happen.”
Appealing to the spirit of the “generations of Scots” who have led the battle for equality, he will accuse the SNP of aping Tory policies and argue that independence will lead to “a race to the bottom” with tax cuts.
He will say: “The next Labour government will write the next chapter in the battle against low pay.
“My priority is tackling low pay and inequality. The SNP priority is a three-pence cut in corporation tax. My priority is a 50p tax rate to restore fairness. They won’t match it.
“My priority is an energy price freeze. They won’t match that either.”
He will warn: “Two countries divided with a border between England and Scotland means we are more likely to have two countries competing against each other with lower taxes, lower terms and conditions and lower wages.
“A race to the bottom.”
However, his remarks were dismissed by the SNP, who claimed that Mr Miliband’s unpopularity even within in his own party meant it was more difficult for Labour to win a general election.
Veteran SNP MSP Sandra White said: “Scotland can’t afford the risk of another Tory government we resoundingly reject – which is one reason why a Yes vote in September is so important, because only in an independent Scotland will we get the government people in Scotland vote for, every time.”