Gordon Brown Launches in Scotland
His speech on pensions was meant to re-launch the Better Together campaign as a positive movement, but his contribution simply continued Better Together’s negativity and scaremongering, as well as being repetitive and lacking in credibility.
The former Labour Prime Minister simply repeated claims made by former UK Government minister Michael Moore in September 2011 and by Tory Leader Ruth Davidson in February 2012. It is also surprising that Brown was chosen to speak about pensions, given his own record on pensions as Chancellor and Prime Minister.
The 1979 Conservative Government reduced the long term value of the State Pension when it abolished the link between the State Pension and earnings.
As Chancellor and then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown did not restore this link.
Brown introduced the notorious “pension stealth tax” which reduced the value of retirement funds by at least £100 billion.
And despite stating the Labour Government was helping the poorest pensioners, as Chancellor, Brown increased the state pension by just 75p in 2000.
With a Yes vote pensions will continue to be paid in full and on time, just as they are now. Scotland is also better placed to afford our pension costs than the UK as a whole.
Expenditure on social protection, which includes pensions, has been lower in Scotland than the UK over the past five years. In all 42% of Scottish tax revenues were spent on social protection in 2012-13, in comparison to 43% for the UK as a whole.