Scottish referendum: Three main parties promise greater tax power for Holyrood if voters reject Independence
David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg jointly pledged last night that Scotland would gain greater tax-raising powers if voters reject independence in next month’s referendum.
Their promise came ahead of tonight’s televised showdown between the First Minister Alex Salmond and the former Chancellor Alistair Darling, who leads the Better Together campaign.
The three main Westminster parties, which oppose independence, have already set out plans to increase devolution to Holyrood.
But the Prime Minister came together with the Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders to promise further powers over tax and the welfare system would be devolved if the country votes No on 18 September.
Their joint pledge read: “We support a strong Scottish Parliament in a strong United Kingdom and we support the further strengthening of the Parliament’s powers.”
The leaders went on to promise to “strengthen further the powers of the Scottish Parliament, in particular in the areas of fiscal responsibility and social security”.
First Minister Alex Salmond will face off against Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign, in a live televised showdown (Getty)
A spokeswoman for Mr Salmond said: “No one in Scotland will be fooled by this Westminster-led rehash of vague promises and unspecified more powers in the event of a No vote. The Tories have tried that before. David Cameron fought tooth and nail to keep a more powers option off the ballot paper, so how can anyone take him seriously now?”
With surveys showing opponents of separation in a consistent lead, the pro-independence camp hopes a passionate performance by Mr Salmond in tonight’s debate will produce a vital breakthrough with surveys showing opponents of separation in a consistent lead.
Video: Rival parties unite 100 days before referendum
A “poll of polls” for the Independent last week suggested Scotland was on course to vote to remain in the UK by a margin of 57 to 43 per cent.
Up to one million viewers are expected to tune into tonight’s debate, which starts at 8pm. It will be shown across Scotland on STV, but not be available elsewhere in the UK apart from in some parts of the English borders.
Other viewers, including Mr Cameron on holiday in Portugal, will have to watch it live online.
It will get underway with a new poll followed by opening statements from both politicians.
STV’s political editor Bernard Ponsonby, who will host the debate in front of an audience of 350 at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, will quiz Mr Salmond and Mr Darling.
The pair will then cross examine each other, before facing the audience’s questions.
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...
£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...