Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

No vote 'means welfare dismantled'

Voting No for independence means the social security system will be dismantled and public services will be threatened more, according to Nicola Sturgeon

A No vote in the independence referendum will result in budget cuts, public services being threatened and Scotland's social security system being dismantled, SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon will warn delegates at her party conference.

She is expected to use her speech at the party's final full conference before next year's vote to set out what she believes will be the consequences of not backing independence.

Westminster politicians from across the political parties are "itching" to abolish the Barnett formula which is used to calculate Scotland's share of the UK budget, she will tell delegates at Perth Concert Hall.

"If we don't vote Yes, Westminster will turn the screw," she will say.

"The Scottish Parliament has the power to distribute money. But Westminster decides the budget. A nd we know this much: there are Westminster MPs in all UK parties itching to abolish the Barnett formula and cut Scotland's share of spending."

Voters will be urged "not to let anyone pull the wool over their eyes" about the consequences of a No vote.

"They are clear and they are real. Scotland's social security system will be dismantled. Scotland's public services and universal benefits will be under threat. Scotland's budget will be cut. S cotland can't afford a No vote."

The warning shot will come on the second day of the SNP's conference which includes a speech from Finance Secretary John Swinney and debates about privatisation of the Royal Mail, Scotland's finances, renewable energy, oil and gas, the Armed Forces and transport.

A spokesman for the Better Together campaign said: "Every time a nationalist mentions their positive campaign over the next year, they should be handed these ridiculous words from Nicola Sturgeon. This takes scaremongering to a new level. It is embarrassing."

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