Salmond warns of 'severest cuts in political history' if independance is rejected
Scotland will face the "severest cuts in political history" if voters reject independence, the country's First Minister has claimed.
The day after he launched the Scottish government's White Paper on independence, Alex Salmond challenged the leaders of pro-union parties to spell out what the financial impact of staying in Britain will be.
Parties involved in the anti-independence Better Together campaign, Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, must now "provide answers to fundamental questions about if Scotland maintains the union."
Mr Salmond issued the challenge as MSPs debated the White Paper, which runs to almost 670 pages and sets out the SNP administration's aims for negotiating terms if a majority votes Yes on September 18 next year.
Ministers are relying on keeping the pound as currency, shared with the rest of Britain, and are working towards seamless transition to EU statehood.
The document also indicates what an SNP government would do if re-elected in 2016, including pledges to increase free childcare, scrap the so-called bedroom tax and remove Trident nuclear missiles from Scotland.
"The assumption has been so far if we don't have independence, everything will continue much as it is," Mr Salmond said. "That's not going to be the case."
"What we want to hear from the unionist parties, Better Together, is how big is the Better Together raid going to be on the Scottish Budget if Scotland votes No."