Labour outlines progressive vision for the Union

Scotland can be part of a progressive union, Miliband will say today.

Scotland can be part of a progressive union, Miliband will say today

Ed Miliband will today head to Edinburgh in an attempt to encourage left-leaning voters to stick with the Union rather than being enticed by independence.

In an attempt to outline the progressive case for the Union, the Labour Leader will warn that the SNP’s plans for independence would lead to “a race to the bottom” as an independent Scotland seeks to compete with England on lower taxes, lower terms and conditions, and lower wages.

Declaring that Scotland can form part of a progressive Union that tackles low pay and inequality, Miliband will say:

“My priority is tackling low pay and inequality. The SNP priority is a three pence cut in corporation tax. My priority is a 50p tax rate to restore fairness. They won’t match it. My priority is an energy price freeze. They won’t match that either.

“And there’s a reason for it. Two countries divided with a border between England and Scotland means we are more likely to have two countries competing against each other with lower taxes, lower terms and conditions and lower wages.”

Highlighting the important role that Scots such as David Hume, Adam Smith, Keir Hardie, Tom Johnston, Jennie Lee and John Smith have played over the history of the Union, he will launch a rallying call to Scotland to be the change makers within the UK. He will declare:

“Every time the United Kingdom has faced huge challenges, the people of Scotland have been there leading the way. Every time there has been a need for big economic and political change, the people of Scotland have been instrumental in making it happen.

“Every time that there has been a call for change in our country, the voices of the people of Scotland have been heard loudest in response.”

Miliband’s speech will come hot off the heels from a visit to the Scottish capital by shadow chancellor Ed Balls yesterday to drum up support for the Union. Declaring forcefully that Alex Salmond is “just trying to con people”, Balls said of the first minister:

“He won’t tell people what the set-up costs are, and they would go into the hundreds of millions or billions of pounds.

“He won’t tell us what his currency plan is. Scotland will not be able to stay part of our currency union.

“So what is Alex Salmond’s plan?

“He won’t admit that interest rates would go up, even though we have a report today saying interest rates will be higher in Scotland, not just for the government but for people’s mortgages as well.

“If Alex Salmond wants to have an honest debate he can have one, and he can start by debating with Alistair Darling.

“We don’t want a pre-negotiation. We want a No vote in the referendum and we want a No vote because people have looked at the facts on taxes, currency and interest rates and concluded – as I am sure is the case – that Scotland would be much, much worse off, as would the rest of the UK.

“If Alex Salmond was confident in his arguments, he would start answering some of the questions.”

5 Responses to “Labour outlines progressive vision for the Union”

  1. dougthedug

    Someone should tell Ed M. how devolution works.

    “My priority is tackling low pay and inequality. The SNP priority is a three pence cut in corporation tax. My priority is a 50p tax rate to restore fairness. They won’t match it. My priority is an energy price freeze. They won’t match that either.”

    The SNP as a the Scottish Government have no powers over income tax or energy in Scotland. They can’t match anything they don’t have the power to implement.

    This referendum isn’t an election with a manifesto it’s a choice between independence or the Union. After independence then we’ll see what the SNP, the Greens and the new Scottish parties offer.

    Ed’s got a bad memory too. Labour cut corporation tax in the UK when they were in power.

    “Two countries divided with a border between England and Scotland means we are more likely to have two countries competing against each other with lower taxes, lower terms and conditions and lower wages.”

    So it’s been a race to the bottom between the UK and Germany and the UK and France? In that case the UK has won and Scotland needs to get out.

    Ed Balls has the usual list of “unanswered” questions

    “He won’t tell people what the set-up costs are, and they would go into the hundreds of millions or billions of pounds.”
    Alex Salmond doesn’t need to tell us because Professor Dunleavy did.

    “He won’t tell us what his currency plan is. Scotland will not be able to stay part of our currency union.”
    Currency plan is for a currency union. if not Scotland will just keep on using the pound as it’s an internationally tradable currency. How many times does this have to be said?

    “He won’t admit that interest rates would go up, even though we have a report today saying interest rates will be higher in Scotland, not just for the government but for people’s mortgages as well.”
    Can Ed predict the interest rates in the UK in 2016?

    “If Alex Salmond wants to have an honest debate he can have one, and he can start by debating with Alistair Darling.”
    He’s agreed but Alistair is now getting very cold feet and starting to find excuses.

    “We don’t want a pre-negotiation. We want a No vote in the referendum and we want a No vote because people have looked at the facts on taxes, currency and interest rates and concluded – as I am sure is the case – that Scotland would be much, much worse off, as would the rest of the UK.”
    Interesting. If he’s not in favour of pre-negotiation why has he laid his opening currency union bid on the table?

  2. tadramgo

    Yet again, Labour thinks people in Scotland don’t have the internet – we can see what Labour is promising in England, and we don’t want it.

  3. Julian Gibb

    Ed Milliband in Edinburgh today.
    One Nation – OR ELSE?
    If a democratic vote takes place in Scotland resulting in Independence then the son of refugees will build a border fence.
    You can travel from Ireland through an open border but not from Scotland. Many Labour voters in Scotland are excited by the prospect of helping to build a fairer country. However it appears that the concept of International Socialism only applies if it is controlled by Westminster.
    The Labour Party in Scotland is now united with the Tories / UKIP / Britannica and The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland. All are formally recorded as part of the Better Together movement led by Alistair Darling.
    A Right Wing grouping that should shock any Labour Party member.

  4. Norfolk29

    Ed Miliband is rich enough not to be bothered by the prospect that the Tories will dominate the House of Commons for the next 100 years as they have done so for the past 100 years. Yes, even during the 1930’s when the Labour Party were reduced to 40 MP’s. The only answer for the Scots is their own State and leave the English and Welsh to suffer the consequences of their own choices in MP. I do not know why the English predominately choose the Tories but it is not out of concern for the poor or disadvantaged members of the population, whom most of them seem to despise.

  5. Julian Gibb

    Gordon Brown’s record:
    In contrast, Corporation Tax fell under Brown, from a main rate of 33% (pre-1997) to 30% (1999) and then 28% (2007), and from 24% to 19% for small businesses.
    Is it only wrong when someone else suggests it?

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