We are now just one week away from the biggest vote any of us will ever cast. Many people in Fife with postal ballots will already have made their choice.
This is so much more important than a normal election. If we vote to leave the UK then there would be no going back. We have to get this right for the sake of future generations.
The best way to get it right for future generations is by saying No Thanks to independence.
Our country isn’t perfect today. Nothing is. But the best way to give people in our area the best chance in life is to stay in the UK.
Being part of the UK means being part of a larger, more diverse and stable economy which means that we are better placed to guarantee and pay for pensions and benefits and getting our young people into work in both the good and bad times.
The Nationalists have failed to come up with answers on a range of issues. We are a week away from the referendum but we still don’t know what currency would be in our pocket, how our pensions would be paid or how separation would affect the cost of our weekly shop and the bills we pay.
Alex Salmond can’t, or won’t, tell us what currency we would use in a separate Scotland. Losing the pound would mean higher cost of living for people in Fife with higher mortgage repayments, higher credit card and store card bills and more costly car loans.
The impartial experts at the Institute of Fiscal Studies tell us that independence would mean austerity plus, because we would need to make cuts worth an extra £6 billion if we leave the UK. That’s half the budget for our NHS. It is those with the least that have the most to lose under separation.
We don’t need to look too far back into the history books to see where the Nationalists’ priorities lie. In the last few years alone the SNP Government voted against a living wage for hundreds of thousands of Scots and refused to back proposal to ban zero hours contracts for public procurement programmes.
The Nationalists talking about fairness and equality is utterly shameful. In addition to voting against the living wage and not even bothering to vote against the bedroom tax, they refuse to match Labour’s pledge to install a 50p tax for the richest in our society.
However, they are happy to slash taxes for the richest corporations like Google, Starbucks and Amazon taking nearly £400m out of our budget that we could be spending on schools, hospitals and welfare.
It’s clear that separation is a risk that we just don’t need to take.
We want change here in Scotland – and across the UK.
We want there to be more opportunities for our young people to get on and to be better placed to look after our pensioners and care for the sick and vulnerable.
But we can do all of those things without the risks uncertainties and costs of separation.
There is a better way to secure the better nation we all want to see.
It’s to have more decisions made here in Scotland, by Scots, with a stronger Scottish Parliament and with more powers guaranteed, but backed up by the strength, security and stability of being part of the UK.
That gives us the best of both worlds. It’s what most of us want.
We know the reality – the best way to improve the lives of working people across Fife is to say No Thanks to the risks and uncertainties of independence.