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Rivals do battle on political future of Scotland

SCOTLAND'S two governments have set out their track records for 2012 and their competing visions for 2013, with Michael Moore arguing the success of the Olympics showed Scotland could achieve more within a "family of nations".

Meanwhile, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted real success could only be achieved if Scotland were independent.

The Scottish Secretary claimed 2012 had seen the UK Government "deliver innovative policies for Scotland and remove the referendum mist against an incredible backdrop of a home Olympics and Paralympics, where our athletes made Britain proud".

Ms Sturgeon said the SNP Government had shown a "real record of delivery in Scotland" and had put the people of Scotland first.

Mr Moore highlighted the "respect agenda", saying: "Last year was hugely important for Scotland. We delivered the latest chapter in the success story that is devolution through the Scotland Act; that means more financial powers and accountability for the Scottish Parliament.

"We reached full agreement with the Scottish Government on terms for an independence referendum and through the Edinburgh Agreement we delivered it in a democratic and transparent way.

"That 'can do' spirit is something we must build on next year as we tackle some of the challenges we face – creating jobs and getting the economy on track are a priority."

For her part, Ms Sturgeon highlighted how the Scottish Government had delivered on key commitments to improve health, education and support jobs while the social wage and council tax freeze, which other parties wanted to remove, were helping households across Scotland in difficult times.

"Our growth industries such as renewables and food and drink are thriving internationally despite the tough economic climate and Scotland is continuing to outperform other areas of the UK in securing inward investment.

"In contrast," she argued, "it has taken four years for the Chancellor to finally see sense and support investment in infrastructure."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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