Nicola Sturgeon has been “humiliated” by new analysis which reveals that the SNP’s independence plans would mean “more not less austerity”.
The paper, from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, comes as the First Minister is on the campaign trail today attacking austerity within the UK.
However, the IFS declares that “In the short-term at least, independence would likely necessitate more not less austerity”.
The First Minister has been on record in recent days saying that she has “great respect” for the IFS.
It follows last night’s STV Leaders Debate when she dodged questions about the impact of independence on public spending.
Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative finance spokesman said:
“This is a humiliation for Nicola Sturgeon. Once again she’s out today trying to whip up the usual complaints against UK austerity. Yet the IFS has set out the cold facts – if ever she got her way, Scotland would be facing a decade long depression, with less money for the NHS, less money for nurses and the police, and more cuts to services.”
“The IFS analysis has taken the legs out from the SNP’s case.”
“In last night’s debate, she once again tried to dodge questions on the cost of independence. It appears she has learnt nothing from the SNP’s bluster and evasion from the independence referendum campaign when we were told oil would pay for everything and not to worry about the price tag”.
“Nicola Sturgeon is still trying to treat people like fools. Today, the boot is on the other foot.”
Transcript of STV debate:
RL: Nicola your manifesto says that the SNP will demand an end to austerity but your Growth Commission blueprint for independence would lead to another decade of cuts. Why do you claim to oppose austerity when you clearly want to start it up again in an independent Scotland?
NS: Unfortunately Richard you’re wrong on that because the Growth Commission looking at the finances in an independent Scotland recommends spending increases above the rate of inflation. In fact if we’d had the Growth Commission recommendations implemented over the past decade we wouldn’t have had the austerity we’ve suffered under the Tories, that’s the reality. But the question for you is why you prefer Tory government to self-government.