Reid: Yes vote will bring cuts worse than Thatcher

Lord Reid also voiced concerns over the currency issue. Picture: David Moir.
Lord Reid also voiced concerns over the currency issue. Picture: David Moir.
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SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE would see public services in Scotland subjected to greater cuts than under Margaret Thatcher’s government, veteran Labour politician Lord Reid has claimed.

The former Scottish Secretary insisted that rather than “offering a vision of a socially just Scotland”, the reality of a Yes vote next month would be billions of pounds of cuts to public spending.

He warned that if an independent Scotland were forced to use the pound without a currency union, the impact on services such as schools and hospitals could be “devastating”.

Lord Reid, who also served as home secretary and defence secretary in Tony Blair’s government, accused Alex Salmond of speaking with the “confidence of a man blinded by his own ambitions”.

Lord Reid said: “We got rid of the divine right of kings several centuries ago – we’re not about to replace it with the divine right of the First Minister. I passionately believe that it’s in the best interests of Scots to stay in the UK.”

He hit out at the SNP’s attempts to persuade Labour supporters to vote Yes in the referendum, saying: “They want to use Labour voters when it suits their own purpose, their own, single cause – separation.”

But former Scottish Labour Party chairman Bob Thomson, a leading member of Labour for Independence said: “Increasing numbers of Labour members and supporters are realising that an independent Scottish Parliament offers a much better way of making sure that the wealth of Scotland works for all the people of Scotland.”