SNP leader Alex Salmond has urged Scots voters to choose his party to prevent a “decade of despair” that he says Scotland would suffer under the cuts proposed by the three main parties.
Launching the Nationalists’ campaign yesterday the First Minister laid out an “alternative vision of the future” and pledged that his MPs would be “local champions” for communities.
Salmond attacked Labour and Conservatives for their proposed cuts which he said would threaten “deeply treasured” unique Scottish services like free personal care.
Speaking to SNP party members in Leith, Edinburgh, yesterday (Monday) he said: “Labour and Tories now threaten deeply treasured policies like free personal care, free education and community policing, the 1000 extra police that the SNP government have placed in the streets and communities.
“Analysing the recent budget and the forecast implicit within it, you can see quite clear that both Labour and Tory would plan a decade of despair in Scotland’s public services.”
Salmond said that both parties would support a £30billion cut public expenditure over the next 15 years.
He added: “Thus the London parties represent a real threat to the quality of public services in Scotland.”
He also attacked the Trident missile replacement project, which he branded an “obscenity”.
Salmond said: “SNP MPs will not go to London to settle in or to settle down, they will go there to settle up for Scotland. They will be at Westminster to be their community’s voice, the community champion.
“We’ll break through cosy Westminster on cuts, let’s challenge the priorities that Labour and Tory would threaten, the public services we hold dear, while continuing to spend £100,000 million on the trident replacement system, a total obscenity which needs to be challenged in this election campaign.”
Speaking after the launch of the campaign, Salmond said that the Conservatives would forcibly renegotiate the Barnett Formula, which dictates how much is allocated by the treasury to Scotland, if they won the election.
Salmond claimed that the Tories’ “Cameron Cut” would ride over the current formula agreement, which involves Scottish government and Scottish Parliament input on any changes.
He said: “When asked George Osbourne specifically at a meeting two weeks ago he refused to confirm that any change would be by agreement.
“Does that mean we don’t want change? No, I want the change to be through fiscal autonomy I want Scotland to control its own resources and control its own spending.
“But the idea that you would have the review and then a slash in the Barnett Formula and that would be imposed upon Scotland without the agreement is something which is unprecedented in Scottish politics.
“That represents a dangerous departure from what had been the agreed position with all parties with regard to that in previous years.
“That’s why throughout this campaign I shall be flushing out the Conservatives on the issue of the Cameron Cut.”