Tories ‘to cut Scots spending by £2.7bn’

Labour Leader  Ed Miliband. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Labour Leader Ed Miliband. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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ED Miliband will tell the Scottish Labour conference in Edinburgh today that the Tories plan to cut funding for the Scottish Government by £2.7 billion if they win the general election.

He will claim the cut – the equivalent of £500 for every man, woman and child –would mean more than £1bn slashed from the NHS, equal to the cost of 15,500 nurses and 3500 GPs.

Mr Miliband will also warn that the loss of even a single Labour MP in Scotland would make it more likely David Cameron will cling on in power because the Tories will have the most seats in the House of Commons.

The Labour leader is under pressure from many of his Scottish MPs to rule out any prospect of a deal with the SNP after the election, but he is not expected to use his address to delegates at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre to make such a commitment.

Instead he will say voters face a clear choice between a Labour government and a Tory one.

And he will cite figures from the independent Institute of Fiscal Studies to highlight the scale of planned Tory cuts.

He will say: “They want to take spending back to the levels last seen in the 1930s. It means they want to return public spending as a share of national income back to a time when children left school at 14, a time before we had an NHS.

“The scale of the reductions in spending that the Tories are planning will mean that the Scottish Government will have to make deep cuts. If the cuts are spread evenly, it would mean over £1bn of cuts to the NHS.”

Mr Miliband will say the differences between Labour and the Tories in this year’s election are wider than they have been for a generation, but at the same time this election is set to be the closest for a generation.

“Every vote cast for another party, including the SNP, makes that prospect of a Tory government more likely because every one less Labour MP makes it more likely the Tories will be the largest party,” he will say

Mr Miliband will underline Labour’s commitment to raise the minimum wage, freeze energy prices, tax bankers’ bonuses, tackle zero hours contracts and increase the state pension.

And he will urge delegates to “sound the alarm across Scotland” about what deep Tory cuts would mean for the NHS and public services

He will say: “The Tories can wreak havoc in Scotland without winning a majority. They can do it simply by being in government as the largest party.

“It would mean a Tory decade for Scotland: ten years of David Cameron in Downing Street; ten years of injustice; ten years of unfairness; ten years of attacking everything we hold dear in our country.”