Labour leader Ed Miliband and his shadow chancellor Ed Balls have claimed that SNP plans for full fiscal autonomy would create a £1billion blackhole in pensions.
The men, backed by Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, argue that giving Holyrood responsibility for raising all the money it spends would result in a £7.6billion funding cut – a 12% reduction in money used to pay for public services.
Mr Miliband shared a platform with his two colleagues in Edinburgh yesterday and claimed the move would “a devastating blow to working people”.
The three men argued that the SNP, which appear to be on course to win most of Scotland’s 59 seats at Westminster, were proposing “full fiscal austerity”.
Mr Miliband, drawing on the £7.6billion figure provided by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, urged Ms Sturgeon to come clean about the consequences of her party’s plans.
“Which services will be cut? Which taxes will be raised? And what cuts will it mean for pensioners in Scotland when they are taken out of the UK pensions system,” he added.
“The SNP claim in this campaign to be proposing no reductions in spending but in fact they are planning dramatic reductions in spending.”
Mr Balls insisted that a vote for the SNP was a “vote for continued Tory austerity” and only Labour had a fully-funded plan to deliver social justice.
Referring to the funding gap, he claimed economic growth in Scotland would have to double in the next five years to 5.3% a year to close it.
“A million Scots whose state pension is currently guaranteed by the UK would see their pension cut, a cut of £18 a week, £940 a year on average,” said Mr Balls.
Mr Murphy said full fiscal autonomy meant cutting Scotland off from taxes, national insurance and income tax raised in the rest of the UK.
“It abolishes the guarantee of the existing UK state pension here in Scotland,” he added.
“If Scotland removes itself from a UK tax system, we remove ourselves from the UK pension system.
Mr Murphy said the SNP did not back Labour’s fully funded plan for social justice, was planning deep spending cuts and voting for nationalist MPs would keep the Tories in power.
“These three factors together create a perfect storm which Scotland would have to weather alone,” he added.