Scottish independence: Jim Sillars blasts Darling

BETTER Together leader Alistair Darling’s economic “predictions of doom” for an independent Scotland should be dismissed following his “total failure as chancellor”, according to a nationalist campaign leader.

Jim Sillars criticised Alistair Darling on the economy. Picture: Julie Bull
Jim Sillars criticised Alistair Darling on the economy. Picture: Julie Bull

Mr Darling predicted “the British economy will continue to grow” with sustained “confidence and stability in the banking system” shortly before the UK recession and banking crisis.

Former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars, who now leads the nationalist 10:01 campaign, said Mr Darling “cannot expect to be taken seriously or listened to by anyone” because of his “abysmal record” on economic forecasting.

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Mr Sillars has taken out a full page advert in the Daily Record urging Mr Darling to explain how he can “walk arm-in-arm with a Tory government that is threatening old people with the bedroom tax, slashing benefits for the disabled, causing one million people in Scotland to live in poverty, causing one in nine children to live in extreme poverty, promoting gross inequality in our society”.

Mr Sillars said: “He cannot, on his record, expect his predictions of doom for Scotland if it votes Yes to be taken seriously or listened to by anyone.

“Throughout the campaign, Alistair Darling has punted the idea of better together while avoiding raising the issues of poverty, unemployment and attacks on the poor and disabled, which portray anything but us being better together.

“I think, given his silence on these issues, and the £25 billion cuts to come, it is evident that he is leading a Tory front organisation.”

The 10:01 campaign urges Scots to keep the sovereignty they have been granted to decide Scotland’s future in the independence referendum after the polls close at 10:01pm on September 18.

A spokesman for pro-union Better Together said: “The biggest threat to our public services in Scotland, like our schools and our NHS, is the £6 billion extra spending cuts the impartial experts at the Institute for Fiscal Studies say would be needed if we vote for separation.

“The reality is that independence would mean austerity plus.”