Scottish independence: Ed Balls has suggested that Labour will devolve the bulk of income tax powers to Holyrood within a year of winning the next election as he pledged that the new responsibilities would be “big and significant”.
The shadow chancellor said that getting a radical package of new powers through Westminster after a No vote would be a priority for Labour if it wins the 2015 General Election.
Mr Balls stated that the proposals to deliver the majority of income tax responsibilities would be in the first Queen’s speech if Labour wins in May 2015 - a timetable that would mean the transfer of powers could be approved within a year.
The Labour MP, speaking during a campaign visit to Aberdeen today, said: “We’re making it absolutely crystal clear that that legislation will be in the first Queen’s speech.”
Mr Balls went onto warn that a free National Health Service would be at risk in Scotland after a Yes vote as he claimed a multi-billion pound black hole in the SNP’s plans for independence would lead to cuts to frontline services.
He said: “If there is independence the NHS will have to be cut by Alex Salmond.
“To save the NHS vote No. The best way to keep the NHS free and high quality is to vote No.