NICOLA Sturgeon will challenge Alistair Darling to explain why he prefers Scotland’s economy to be controlled by coalition government policies he has criticised, at a major event this week.
The Deputy First Minister and the former Chancellor are to debate together on the independence referendum on Tuesday at a Scotsman conference in Edinburgh.
Darling, who is leading the pro-UK Better Together campaign, has strongly criticised the SNP’s plan to push for independence while keeping the pound, saying it would mean Scotland’s spending plans being signed off by a foreign government.
However, speaking ahead of the debate, Sturgeon drew attention to bitter criticism Darling has laid at the door of the UK government.
She said: “Alistair Darling is on record as describing the economic policies of the Tory/Lib-Dem government at Westminster as ‘a huge gamble’. He has said that the austerity path chosen by Osborne, Cameron and Alexander is ‘dismantling the support millions depend on’ and is doing ‘immeasurable’ damage. Mr Darling has even gone as far as to say that Westminster’s economic policies are ‘utterly mad’.
“With his damning verdict how can the leader of the No campaign possibly claim with any credibility that Scotland’s economic future will not be best served by all the main decisions on jobs, spending and investment being taken here in Scotland?”