BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 12:19 UK

SNP warns of '10m' NI rise hit

Kenny MacAskill
Kenny MacAskill having his hair done at the Hollies day centre in Musselburgh

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has warned Labour's planned National Insurance increase would cost police and fire services £10m a year.

The 1% rise, which would take effect from next April, is one of several measures to aid economic recovery.

Mr MacAskill said the rise equated to the wages of 275 police officers.

The SNP also hit the campaign trail in East Lothian, where Labour MP Anne Moffat was deselected after a bitter dispute in the local party.

Mr MacAskill, who was campaigning with local East Lothian candidate, Andrew Sharp, in Musselburgh, said the SNP would protect voters from Labour cuts, which would go "deeper and tougher" than those of Margaret Thatcher.

The SNP MSP said: "Both Labour and the Tories - the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of London politics - are threatening massive cuts to the Scottish budget.

"The Tories are planning a special cut for Scotland despite being funded by Scottish resources, while Labour are going for a double whammy, hitting Scotland with a £400m real term budget cut and a National Insurance policy which will hit frontline services."

Mr MacAskill, speaking from the Hollies Day Centre, said the price of Labour's NI hike in Scotland equated to the running costs of the Scotland Office, the UK government department which Scots minister have said should be abolished.



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