Labour Offers Real Change - Murphy

7 March 2015, 06:00 | Updated: 7 March 2015, 06:21

Jim Murphy will tell Labour voters who are desperate for change and are considering voting SNP that Labour offers what they are looking for.

The Scottish Labour leader will say his party will end "Tory austerity'' and "call time on that five-year experiment of cold and callous policies''.

In an address to the Scottish Labour conference in Edinburgh today he is expected to say: "I know that there are Labour supporters thinking of switching to be SNP voters this time.

"And I've met and listened to a lot of those undecided voters and I know that you are desperate for change.

"So are we. I hear your sense of frustration about how you work harder and feel no better off.

"What I want to set out to you and the rest of Scotland is that Labour is that change.

"We will stop a decade of Tory rule and end Tory austerity.

"Scottish Labour is clear about what we think of the failed Tory austerity policies. They are confidence sapping, poverty creating, zero-hours contracting, foodbank boosting, NHS threatening.

"And we should be clear with Scotland that we will call time on that five-year experiment of cold and callous policies which are doing so much harm to our country.''

Mr Murphy acknowledged that Labour faces an "enormous'' effort in the forthcoming election, but said this "doesn't compare to the struggles faced by so many Scots every single day''.

He has pledged to fight for people such as those running small businesses, mothers waiting for treatment for mental health conditions or lonely pensioners receiving just 15 minutes of personal care.

"It is them we fight for, not for our own sake,'' he is expected to say.

"We fight not for ourselves but for working class Scots who need a champion against the Tories.

"Winning is about much more than avoiding losing.

"We are determined to win not just because we want a Labour Government but because those people who are genuinely in the fight of their lives need a Labour Government.

The SNP said thousands of former Labour voters have joined the nationalists recently, citing "the need to end austerity, protecting the NHS, public sector spending, Labour abandoning their principles, and the need to get the Tories out'' as key reasons for the switch.

SNP business convener Derek Mackay said: "People in every community in Scotland are fed up with Labour's failures and recognise it is time for a change.

"Labour's toxic alliance with the Tories in the referendum, and them moving firmly on to Tory ground by voting with David Cameron and George Osborne for #30 billion more austerity cuts, have gone down very badly in Scotland.

"People want Scotland to have a powerful voice at Westminster, and only a strong team of SNP MPs elected in May can achieve the change that people in Scotland want - including the alternative to austerity which Nicola Sturgeon has detailed, so that we get an economic policy focused on growth and jobs.

"On issue after issue, Labour find themselves on the same side of the argument as the Tories - which is the wrong side for the people of Scotland. Left to their own devices, Labour would not change. Only SNP MPs can achieve change - power for Scotland and the delivery of progressive policies across the UK.''