Miliband vows not to sell Scotland short 
over fiscal autonomy

Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband
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ED MILIBAND today insisted he would “never sell Scotland short” by backing SNP plans to make Holyrood responsible for raising enough funds to cover all its spending.

The Labour leader was using a visit to Edinburgh this morning to attack Nicola Sturgeon over her party’s support for full fiscal autonomy –- claiming this would leave a £7.6bn “hole” in Scotland’s finances.

Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, has already pressed the SNP leader and Scottish Minister on the issue in TV debates this week, claiming she made a “stupid strategic error” when she said nationalist MPs at Westminster could vote for full fiscal autonomy for Scotland as early as next year.

Such a change to the way Scotland is funded would mean the country no longer receives a block grant from Westminster, and would instead have to raise sufficient resources to cover all its public spending.

With Labour facing a battle to retain many of its seats in Scotland in the wake of surging SNP support, Mr Miliband, Mr Murphy and Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls will today mount a joint attack.

The UK Labour leader will tell voters in Scotland the choice they face on May 7 is “between a Tory Party that only wants to help those at the top, a £7.6bn funding gap from the SNP, which will hit working people hard, or a Labour party that knows Britain will only succeed if working people succeed”.

But SNP depute leader Stewart Hosie claimed Labour “are proposing more cuts”.