JIM Murphy will today (thur) claim that there are just two weeks to save the UK state pension in Scotland, after Gordon Brown wrote to 350,000 households to warn that SNP plans for devo-max would mean savage cuts in public spending.


In an apparent bid to win support among older voters, Mr Brown also said that the NHS in Scotland is currently facing a crisis and that Labour had a plan to invest £1 billion in the health service north of the border.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Labour leader will today hold a street rally in Edinburgh, where he will again highlight SNP proposals to make Holyrood responsible for raising and spending all of its own money, cutting Scotland off financially from the rest of the UK.

Mr Murphy said: "There are just two weeks to save the UK state pension in Scotland from the SNP's dangerous plan for full fiscal autonomy. Nearly one million Scots who have worked hard all their lives deserve to enjoy their retirement in the knowledge that their state pension won't be put at risk.

"The SNP manifesto might have changed the name of their plan but it amounts to the same thing - eye watering cuts that would see the end of the UK state pension in Scotland and put the NHS at risk."

The SNP's manifesto backs a policy it rebranded "full fiscal responsibility" but emphasised that it would take several years to implement. Currently, neither Labour or the Tories support devo-max for Scotland, meaning a u-turn from one of the parties would be required if the SNP was to win a Westminster vote on the issue. Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that her MPs would vote for it at the first opportunity.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour launched a women's manifesto yesterday, where the party again highlighted the risk of full fiscal autonomy, which the IFS has said would blow a £7.6 billion hole in Scotland's budget if it was to occur in the current financial year. Yvette Cooper, Labour's shadow home secretary, said that Scottish families will lose £800 each under the proposals.

The women's manifesto also commits the party to increasing the minimum wage, legislating for a 50 per cent quota for women on public boards and investing over £2 million in Women's Aid Centres across Scotland.

Margaret Curran, shadow Scottish Secretary, said: "When times are tough, it's always the women who lose out. And when the money we have to spend on things like tax credits and our NHS gets slashed under the SNP's plans for full fiscal autonomy, it will be the women of Scotland who will suffer. Women know you can't play fast and loose with the finances."