Deputy First Minister targets the undecideds

editorial image

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited East Dunbartonshire last week in a bid to persuade undecided voters to back the ‘Yes’ campaign.

Ms Sturgeon held public meetings in Kirkintilloch and Bearsden and also found time to pop into the Herald offices with local MSP Fiona McLeod to talk about the campaign.

Nicola Sturgeon with MSP Fiona McLeod and Herald journalist David Hepburn

Nicola Sturgeon with MSP Fiona McLeod and Herald journalist David Hepburn

She told the Herald: “We are very much concentrating on people who are yet to make up their minds.

“It’s a case that’s based on three things. We can afford to be independent. We should be independent because it’s best to take decisions about our future ourselves. And the alternative is to leave those decisions in the hands of others, whose decisions we often don’t agree with.

“The polls say nationally 20 to 30 per cent of the population are in that undecided category and I guess broadly speaking it’s the position in East Dunbartonshire as well.”

Ms Sturgeon was insistent that independence would mean a better deal for the people of East Dunbartonshire - with a possible end to years of council budget cuts and austerity politics.

She explained: “If you look at the experience of the last seven years, the Scottish Government’s budget has been cut by Westminster.

“We’ve tried as far as possible to protect local government funding but we can’t magic money out of nowhere when we’re sitting with a fixed budget.

“We have been clear that if there is a no vote than after the referendum public spending increases are going to be heavily curtailed to about one per cent, which is less than the rate of inflation.

“We’ve said we would, and Scotland can afford to, raise public spending more than that - by about three per cent - so immediately you are in a completely different financial context and are better able to fund local government.”