Gordon Brown: Independent Scotland brings ‘austerity until doomsday’

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Scotland would face “austerity until doomsday” if the country became independent, former prime minister Gordon Brown has said.

He issued the warning as he called for politicians north and south of the border to increase investment in the NHS.

Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown (left) speaking to Andrew Marr Picture:: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown (left) speaking to Andrew Marr Picture:: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Mr Brown said the health service needed an injection of new cash similar to that provided by Tony Blair’s Labour government when it doubled NHS spending between 1997 and 2010.

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Speaking at a Labour rally for the NHS in Glasgow, Mr Brown, who served as chancellor under Mr Blair, recalled: “In 1997 when we came into power, the National Health Service was dying on its feet.

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“So we had to take action and we did put in the biggest single tax rise in history – £9 billion extra for the National Health Service, health service spending rising by 5 per cent a year as a result of it, 30,000 more doctors, 80,000 more nurses, half the hospitals in this country rebuilt or repaired, so that they were fit for the modern era.

“I believe that this is what we have got to do again.”

Mr Brown said under the Tories in Westminster and the SNP at Holyrood, the NHS had seen its worst decade for spending growth since its creation in 1948.

He warned: “You look now at the Scottish National Party’s proposals for independence, they will not be spending money on the health service this decade.”