Vote No And Join Mission: Miliband
27 June 2014, 06:44
Labour leader Ed Miliband will today urge Scots to vote No to independence in September's referendum so they can be part of his party's "mission to change Britain''.
Mr Miliband will use a speech in Edinburgh to argue: "The way to think big in the 21st century is by changing the United Kingdom''.
He will set out Labour's plans to change the economy to "make it more equal'' and his party's ambition to change society "to make it more fair''.
The Labour leader will highlight the role Scotland has played in the United Kingdom in the last 300 years and will go on to argue it can play a key part in changing the UK for the better.
"By voting No you can say Yes to the biggest progressive change for a generation,'' Mr Miliband will say.
"My appeal to the people of Scotland is to be part of our mission to change Britain.
"Scotland has always thought big. And the way to think big in the 21st century is by changing the United Kingdom.
"Changing our economy, to make it more equal. Changing our society, to make it more fair. And changing our politics: to reform the British state so it works for people in every part of our country.''
He will say that in the past "every time there has been a need for big economic and political change, the people of Scotland have been instrumental in making it happen''.
The Labour leader will highlight his plans for changes to deal with the "cost-of-living crisis'', claiming that almost 400,000 people north of the border earn less than the living wage while 90,000 Scots are on "zero hours contracts''.
He will pledge that if elected as prime minister next year his government will raise the minimum wage by more than average earnings and would also "ban exploitative zero hours contracts''.
Labour would also install a "progressive tax system'' to help tackle the ``inequality our country faces''.
Mr Miliband will claim: "Through a return of the 50p top rate of tax, so that those with the biggest shoulders bear the greatest burden.
"We pledge also a real end, across the whole of the UK, to this government's horrendous, iniquitous, unfair 'bedroom tax'.''
He will also seek to contrast his plans with those of Alex Salmond's SNP, saying: "My priority is tackling low pay and inequality. The SNP priority is a three-pence cut in corporation tax.''
But SNP MSP Sandra White said: "We now have a situation where the No campaign's new adviser, Andrew Cooper, has said that Labour can't win next year.
"When faced with the prospect of another Tory government, polls have shown that a majority of people in Scotland would vote Yes.
"With independence, Scotland will get the government we vote for every time and we can work toward building the fairer Scotland we all want to see.''
She insisted: "A re-elected Tory government is a clear and present danger for Scotland - and the only way to ensure that the Tories never again get to govern Scotland when their support here is rock-bottom is to vote Yes for independence.''
Meanwhile, Labour members who back independence are calling on Mr Miliband to take part in a debate on the future of Scotland.
Fiona Cook, a solicitor in Greenock, said: "I joined the Labour Party because I wanted to be part of a movement for social justice. I'm disappointed that we've not had a debate about independence in the past."
She added that Labour was "campaigning with the Tories in Better Together for a Union that has not served the people of Scotland'' and insisted: "I believe now that the way forward is for Scotland to be an independent Scotland.''