By Martin Kelly
First Minister Alex Salmond has challenged UK Minister Danny Alexander and the No campaign to confirm their commitment to austerity after the Chief Secretary to the Treasury blundered into signing all three Westminster parties up to the current coalition’s spending plans.
In his letter to the First Minister at the weekend, Mr Alexander stated that the current coalition spending plans would be in place in 2018/19.

The letter appears to commit all three pro-Union parties to the same level of austerity after the 2015 UK general election, a commitment seized on by the First Minister.
Responding to Danny Alexander’s letter, Mr Salmond said it: “leaves the Scottish electorate with little option but to conclude that anything other than a vote for independence would be a vote for continuing Conservative austerity, no matter which Westminster party wins the 2015 election”.

The letter has now prompted a series of questions from the First Minister who has asked whether the letter was accurate or another “mis-brief” from the Treasury – a reference to an admission from the Treasury that it had given inaccurate figures relating to the start-up costs of independence.

In his letter the First Minister asks:

  • If the Liberal Democrats are now committed to continuing with Conservative austerity after the 2015 General Election?
  • Whether Alastair Darling and Labour would be representing the coalition’s spending plans in any TV debate as Danny Alexander suggested?
  • How much the parties plan on cutting from public spending, and how much Scotland’s budget faces being slashed in the event of a No vote?

There are growing fears that a No vote in the independence referendum will lead to a massive cut in Scotland’s budget.

In May a senior Labour party shadow minister confirmed A future Labour government would not undo the hugely unpopular cuts imposed by the current Tory/LibDem coalition.

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie said the party is preparing to make some unpopular decisions and will not “be able to undo the cuts that the have been felt in recent years.”

Leslie’s comments followed an admission from Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls last year that a future Labour government would stick to Tory Chancellor George Osbrone’s spending plans for at least one year.

The No Nightmare


2014-07-02 23:10

Economic austerity is politically motivated.
That is what Scots should understand.
Our circumstances in Scotland are very different from the south of England and require a radically different approach but as long as we remain ruled from London,we will continue to have irrelevant policies imposed on us.
When times are good in London,we suffer because someone has to pay to keep inflation under control and when times are bad in London,we suffer because someone has to pay for the mistakes of incompetent politicians.
Boom and Bust,which Broon claimed to have put an end to.
He didn’t and the only solution for Scots is to bring governance home.
2014-07-03 04:53

At last the YES campaign is aiming for the open goal that is the catastrophic state of the UK’s economy and the devastating impact that is going to have on the people of Scotland if they sleepwalk into voting NO.

Scotland’s worst nightmare will begin if it remains within the UK’s economy when interest rates begin to rise as they shall next year, especially when that is coupled with the spiteful economic punishment Westminster will inflict on Scotland after a NO vote.

If you think it’s bad now then you ain’t seen nothing yet.
2014-07-03 06:09

A NO vote will lumber Scots with the dark economic choice between awful and disastrous when we naturally would be facing a bright future running our own economy.
Jamie Black
2014-07-03 06:18

Alex Salmond asks UK parties to ‘come clean’…and theirin is the definition of both irony and hypocrisy!
2014-07-03 22:33

Epic fail. Totally vague, dude.

2014-07-03 07:07

Frankly, the crime of the millenium was the socialisation of bank debt by Brown.
The consequent payback, austerity for all is off-set by the fact that those who caused the crisis in the first place are sitting pretty and even being rewarded for their profilagacy with our money.
The cancer of the ‘establishment’ continues unabated and we all are asked to pay. Surely that calls for rioting in the streets or have we all lost our will to protest ?. Yes, it seems we have.
Only independence from this crazy form of sociatal management and the drive to make more and more people, state dependent is the choice we all have in September.
Hopefully we have collectively all woken up to the realities by then.
I forcast 80% turnout with a 55% majority for Yes.
2014-07-03 08:22

Whao, this is a seriously real watershed moment and something that cannot be smothered by the media. Let it rip Alex, it’s got to come out sometime, may as well be to or advantage rather than our later severe disadvantage.
From The Suburbs
2014-07-03 10:32

BBC giving big licks to Lib Dem FOI on council house building in Scotland but no one asked how many council houses were built by the Lib Dems when in Scottish Executive government in times of plenty when Jack McConnell returned £1500 billion underspend in Scotland to Westminster?

The answer my friend is In the whole of Scotland the previous Labour / Lib Dem Scottish Executive only built 6 council houses in the four years up to 2007 and four of them were in Lib Dem held Orkney and Shetland.
2014-07-03 10:38

Slightly O/T but not really since there’s only 12 weekends to go. Trying to get as many people to come along to the next anti-bbc/media bias gathering on the 27th July at Pacific Quay, Glasgow and turn it into a massive Yes turn out to boost the momentum for the campaign. There’s a facebook page here…/?fref=ts
Lets make this a big grassroots gathering.
Please contact your local Yes group or all your facebook/twitter friends and broadcast this
2014-07-03 15:04

Hope to have another “Wings” presence there alistair.
2014-07-03 15:19

O/T: Just an FYI-
I saw mentioned on another blog site that the BBC appears to be holding another big ‘event’ in the vicinity (The Big Tent, Pacific Quay) on 27th July.-…/…
2014-07-03 15:29

O/T That’s right, they’ve got a tent up, so gathering will be somewhere just nearby – tbc. So please still ask everyone along.

2014-07-03 11:01

Well, yes, it is obvious that ‘austerity’ (= poverty)is bad for everybody except the tiny minority of finance capitalists (who are not all based in London). But it is not equally obvious that the only solution is to split the only force that can end exploitation, the British working class.
The referendum in Scotland is an attempt to turn the growing desire in Britain to be an independent nation into its opposite, for Britain to be partitioned instead, which would be bad for all of us.
2014-07-03 14:32

Look Jamie Black, I have to ask you to explain yourself. What exactly do you mean?

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