The SNP Deputy Leader Nicola Sturgeon has today called on pensioners in Scotland to vote Yes on Thursday - to as she describes it "ensure that their grandchildren are given the opportunities that years of Tory government denied to previous generations" in Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon today joined former Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party MSP John Swinburne, Yes Scotland chairman and former Labour MP Dennis Canavan, and a host of senior Labour figures in Hamilton, in a cross-party appeal to Scotland’s older voters. Yesterday, the former SNP MP, MSP and MEP Winnie Ewing called on Scots to back a Yes vote for future generations.
Dr Ewing, who electrified British politics with a spectacular win in the 1967 Hamilton by-election, famously declaring “stop the world, Scotland wants to get on”, said: “I’m old enough to appreciate having grandchildren, so I'm in a position to realise it's vital for them to grow up in a fair society where their aspirations are listened to, and where they’re afforded the chances they need. And that’s what I hope every young person in this country will get in a democratic Scotland.”
Commenting, Ms Sturgeon said: "Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but for too many people - including many older people - it doesn’t feel that way. Under Westminster rule, the state pension is second lowest in the developed world. We know that Scots’ pensions are legally guaranteed - and even the UK Government’s Pensions Minister has confirmed that they will be protected in an independent Scotland. Independence is an opportunity to give our older people the retirement they deserve - whether it is ensuring the state pension rises in line with the cost of living; maintaining savings credit, which is being scrapped by Westminster; or reviewing Westminster’s unfair plans to raise the state retirement age to 67."
“But crucially, independence is also an opportunity for the young people of today - and we are urging pensioners to vote Yes and unlock the wealth of opportunity for future generations. A generation ago, the people of Scotland were told to vote No to get a better form of devolution. What we got instead was 18 years of Tory governments that we didn’t vote for, the destruction of our manufacturing sector, and a generation of young people left on the scrap-heap."
“Scotland can and must make sure this never happens again - we must look to the future and ensure that future generations have the opportunities that their parents and grandparents never had. So our plea today to pensioners in Scotland is this: you lived through the Thatcher years, you lived through the waste of opportunity, you lived through the squandering of Scotland’s oil wealth - don’t let Westminster repeat the mistakes of the past. Independence is the opportunity to turn Scotland into a fairer and more prosperous society - reindustrialising Scotland for the future and creating more job opportunities for young people. Vote Yes, and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands - in the hands of your children and your grandchildren."