Welfare Warning From Sturgeon

11 August 2014, 09:28 | Updated: 11 August 2014, 09:30

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will highlight the opportunity to create a fair welfare system in an independent Scotland as she visits a foodbank.

Ms Sturgeon said gaining control of the powers of independence will be the opportunity of a lifetime to ensure many more people feel the benefit of Scotland's wealth.

The Deputy First Minister said that this week the Scottish Government will highlight jobs, the NHS and the gap between rich and poor under Westminster to show that those north of the border are better off with "Scotland's future in Scotland's hands''.

Speaking ahead of her visit to a foodbank in the Maryhill area of Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon said: "Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, richer per head than France, Japan and the UK. But under Westminster for far too many people it doesn't feel that way.

"While the Westminster parties will concentrate on threats, the Yes side will focus on the opportunities to improve people's lives that only independence can offer.

"Independence is not a magic wand but it means control of key decisions that affect Scotland lie here and not with Westminster politicians.

"It is a scandal that so many children in wealthy Scotland are reliant on emergency food aid as a direct result of Westminster cuts.''

She said that an independent Scotland would have an economic policy with full powers to put job-creation in Scotland first and to improve the quality of jobs available.

She added: "Decisions over funding for public services will be made in Scotland according to our wishes - not those of a Westminster government intent on dismantling large parts of state provision.''

A spokesman for Better Together said: "This is a desperate attempt by Nicola Sturgeon to distract from the failure of her boss to answer basic questions on what currency Scotland would use if we leave the UK.

"How can Nicola Sturgeon talk about how much money our NHS would have when she can't even tell us what money we would be using to fund it?

"How can she talk about the cost of living when she can't tell us what currency our wages, our benefits or our pensions would be paid in?

"The SNP's tactics are insulting to the Scottish people who know that the NHS and education are already 100% in the control of the Scottish Parliament.

"The real threat to our schools and hospitals comes from the big cuts needed to pay for independence. Nicola Sturgeon knows that her own private analysis shows that Scotland would need bigger cuts if we leave the UK than if we stay in the UK. The impartial Institute for Fiscal Studies predicted #6 billion of cuts just to pay for independence.''