SNP spending would ‘break hearts’ - Gordon Brown

Brown accused the SNP of showing their true colours. Picture: TSPL
Brown accused the SNP of showing their true colours. Picture: TSPL
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THE SNP’s spending plans would “break the hearts of the poor”, former prime minister Gordon Brown will say today.

The former Labour leader will claim that not one pensioner, disabled person or unemployed person would be better off under the nationalists’ plans for spending on the welfare state over the five years of the Westminster parliament.

They would not only break up the United Kingdom but break the hearts of the poor

Gordon Brown

Describing the SNP as the “Sort Nothing Party”, he accused them of being “complicit in the Tory spending sell- out of the people of Scotland”.

But the SNP said a vote for Labour would be a vote for “more Tory-style cuts”.

Mr Brown, who is stepping down as an MP after 32 years, will deliver his speech tonight in Kirkcaldy in Fife.

A vote for SNP is vote for Tory austerity - Balls

His latest address comes days after he revealed Treasury documents which he said showed the SNP has accepted Tory plans for “zero additional spending” to tackle austerity in 2015/16.

He is expected to say: “Since Monday’s revelation of the SNP’s zero additional spending in 2015-16 - which by their answers they have confirmed - we have discovered far more about their true intentions.

“They would not only break up the United Kingdom but break the hearts of the poor.

“Not one pensioner, unemployed man or woman or disabled person or family would be better off according to their figures for spending on the welfare state. They have not even factored in money in the UK social security budget to end the Bedroom Tax.”

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He will claim the SNP has “accepted the Tory agenda on austerity” for the first year of the parliament and into 2016 and accepted Conservative plans for public spending on welfare.

“They cannot make a difference to the lives of the people of Scotland with the plans they have outlined,” he will argue.

“Their cynical appeal to Scotland that they will be the party of social justice is exposed as hollow by this set of revelations.

“We know why. They want to use inaction in 2015-16 to claim just before the Scottish elections that Westminster doesn’t work.

“But with their final figures on borrowing they cannot now change their decision. They are not the party that will end austerity, they are not the party that defends the poor but are complicit in the Tory spending sell-out of the people of Scotland.

“At this election the SNP means the Spend Nothing Party, Sort Nothing Party.

“On welfare and austerity, the SNP are exposed as hand in hand, arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder with the Tories.”

Leaders: SNP’s error on home rule could be costly

But the SNP described Mr Brown’s claims as a “bizarre, boomerang attack” on the party.

Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary John Swinney hit out at Mr Brown’s claims and those of shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who yesterday said a vote for the SNP “is a vote to continue Tory austerity”.

Mr Swnney said: “The SNP has set out spending plans which will see real-terms increases in spending while still tackling the deficit in a responsible way - but with his failure today to ditch Labour’s obsession with pushing through Tory cuts, it’s clear that Mr Balls simply isn’t interested in ending austerity.

“And no matter what Ed Balls claims, the fact is that thanks to the Scottish Government’s use of the economic powers currently in our hands, spending will actually be £682 million higher in 2015/16 than in 2014/15.

“On every level, Ed Balls is completely and utterly wrong - and that Gordon Brown is happy to join in these bizarre, delusional attacks shows how desperate Labour are becoming as their trust amongst people in Scotland continues to plummet.”

Tom Peterkin: Bleating about the BBC does little

He went on: “Labour are already paying the price for working hand in glove with the Tories during the referendum - and Labour’s situation in Scotland is only going to get worse after Ed Balls’ failure to U-turn on his commitment to austerity.

“The fact is that Labour are wedded to the same austerity agenda as the Tories - and no amount of outlandish and inaccurate rhetoric from Ed Balls or Gordon Brown will change that.

“The choice in this election is crystal clear - between Labour plans for more Tory-style cuts or for a strong group of SNP MPs at Westminster to keep Labour honest and to help bring an end to austerity.”

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