ONLY LABOUR can save Scotland from the “twin evils” of the independence-obsessed SNP and service-slashing Tories, Kezia Dugdale declared yesterday as she launched the party’s Scottish manifesto.
The general election is “a clear choice” between an “ambitious” Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government and a Tory government standing on a “miserable and mean” manifesto, said the Scottish Labour leader.
Speaking at the launch in Edinburgh, Ms Dugdale branded the Tories “offensive” for claiming to be the party of working people while they have cut tax credits, seen wages plummet and turned the jobs market into one where insecure work is “endemic.”
Labour will help to tackle the scourge of in-work poverty by banning zero-hours contracts and introducing a £10 an hour minimum wage, while maintaining the triple-lock on state pensions and the current retirement age.
Ms Dugdale hit out at First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, saying she would “exploit every piece of Tory cruelty to make the case for independence.”
She said: “Independence is not the answer to dealing with Scotland’s flagging economy or our pressured public services.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said it would be wrong for Westminster to block a second referendum if the Scottish Parliament voted for one, but in his manifesto foreword he warned that independence would inflict “turbo-charged austerity on the Scottish people.
“Rather than tackle poverty, the SNP obsesses over another reckless referendum that threatens people’s futures.”
Scottish Labour’s manifesto also includes commitments to ban MSPs from holding paid second jobs, extend breakfast clubs to every primary school, ban onshore fracking and improve access to sanitary products to tackle “period poverty.”