Jobs Risk 'Not Price Worth Paying'

Scottish jobs connected to the UK are "not a price worth paying'' for independence, Labour will warn today.

Scottish leader Johann Lamont said posts in the defence and finance sectors would be put at risk by a Yes vote in September.

Scotland should instead use the strength of the union to both secure and create more jobs, she will say on a visit to a youth employment charity in Dundee.

Ms Lamont will set out how she believes long-term and youth unemployment can be best tackled while remaining part of the UK.

She said: "Jobs and opportunities are key to this campaign and we believe the best future for Scotland is one where we use the strength of the UK to create and secure jobs.

"New research shows that nearly one million jobs in Scotland are linked to the UK and we know a number of these will be put at risk by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

"I have spoken to defence workers in our shipyards, people employed in financial services and Scottish-based civil servants who fear for their future if the SNP succeed in getting a Yes vote.

"For the nationalists, it's clear that these jobs are a price worth paying for an ideology that they have believed in all of their lives, whether we have Labour or Tory Governments, high employment or low employment.

"Being part of the UK will not only secure these jobs but will also give us opportunities to tackle the big issues like long-term and youth unemployment through a Bankers Bonus Tax.

"By redistributing money from the likes of London to the places most in need, we stand a greater chance of creating better jobs and opportunities for young people in Scotland.''

Research by Professor Brian Ashcroft from Strathclyde University recently suggested that 962,000 jobs in Scotland are linked to its membership of the UK.

They include posts at UK-owned companies, Scottish firms which benefit from UK public sector contracts and research and development jobs that are financed by UK grants.

A spokesman for Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "We're delighted the Tory-led No campaign are raising the issue of jobs, because an independent Scotland will mean more and better jobs, and more opportunities for young people here in Scotland rather than having to leave family and friends in search of work elsewhere.

"Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but we need the economic powers of independence to make the most of that huge wealth and to create more jobs.''

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