The people of Scotland are just 10 days away from the greatest opportunity in our history, Yes Scotland chair Dennis Canavan has said tonight.
Speaking in Cowdenbeath, Fife, where he was born and brought up, the former Labour MP told an audience of local people: “We are now on the very cusp of making history – a bold and confident new Scotland, run by the people of Scotland and built on enduring principles of equality, fairness and social justice.
“This new Scotland could be less than a fortnight away. But we must not be complacent. The scaremongering, dissembling and misrepresentation of the No campaign will be ramped up as we approach polling day.
“We must ignore these provocations and keep our eye on the prize. That means working harder than ever, being more positive than ever, selling our vision more powerfully than ever. By doing that, we can and will win.”
Mr Canavan urged those who have voted Labour in past elections to back Yes.
“With independence, we will be able to build the kind of Scotland that Labour voters have long wanted to see – a society based on equality, the right to work and social protection for the most vulnerable members of society, including the elderly, the sick and people with disabilities.
“Every day, more and more Labour supporters are seeing the opportunities on offer and coming over to vote Yes.
“At least a third of them are giving us their support and there is some evidence it could be as high as 40 per cent.
“By the time polling day arrives a week on Thursday, it may well be that a majority of them will vote for independence rather than take the advice of Labour leaders who simply offer more austerity with a continuation of the Tory benefit cap while spending billions on weapons of war and mass destruction.”
Mr Canavan went on to say that a Yes vote would benefit people of all ages, including pensioners.
“As they get older, people need assurances about things like their income, public transport and good health care. An independent Scotland will be more capable of delivering all these things, including an NHS protected from privatisation.
“And we can well afford to pay decent, guaranteed and sustainable pensions. We currently spend a lower share of our national wealth on pensions and benefits than the UK as a whole, meaning better pensions are certainly affordable in an independent Scotland.”
He will add: “The present Scottish Government has committed itself to a pensions triple lock. This will mean that the state pension will increase annually by either 2.5 per cent or the rate of inflation or the increase in average wages, whichever is highest.
“That is a stronger commitment than any given by a UK Government and it would ensure that the existing state pension entitlement is more than met in an independent Scotland.”