No campaign leader tries to rewrite history
Alasdair Darling, the leader of the anti-independence No campaign, has attempted to rewrite history in his letter to George Osborne published in The People newspaper today, the SNP has said today.
Former Chancellor Darling’s letter claims that the economy was in good shape when the Tory-Lib coalition replaced Labour in 2011, ignoring the fact that it was his tenure in charge of the Treasury that imposed cutting Scotland’s capital budget by 36 per cent.
Stewart Hosie MP, the SNP’s Treasury spokesperson, said:
“If the former Chancellor believes that infrastructure spending is the best way to get the economy growing, why on earth did he slash capital funding by 36 per cent when he was Chancellor? All that the Tories did when they took office was copy the capital spending cuts imposed by Alistair Darling.
“This is the man who planned cuts that were, in his own words, ‘deeper and tougher’ than those of Margaret Thatcher. For Alistair Darling to now back borrowing to fund greater capital spending totally undermines his credibility on the economy – and on the Scottish constitution.
“Alistair Darling is supposed to be heading up the anti-independence campaign, but he has far more questions to answer about his own track record on the economy before he will be taken seriously in Scotland’s referendum campaign.”
In 2009 Iain Gray gave his support to Scottish Government calls for £350 million of capital spending to be accelerated in order to provide a much needed boost to Scotland’s economy. This request was snubbed by Alistair Darling, publicly humiliating Iain Gray, and hindering Scotland’s economic recovery.
Referring to this, Mr Hosie added:
“There is quite clearly a severe issue of trust here. Alistair Darling not only savaged Scotland’s capital budget but also snubbed a request for funding to get our economy moving again that had been backed by his party colleague Iain Gray.
“Actions speak louder than words, and whether it is Alistair Darling or George Osborne, it is clear that the interests of Scotland’s economy would be far better represented by the powers being transferred from Westminster to Scotland’s Parliament.”