Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, has described the devolution report by the Labour party as a failure of ambition which will disappoint left-leaning voters who seek a fairer and more democratic Scotland.
The Greens are campaigning for a Yes vote as they see the opportunities to rebalance the economy, protect public services, develop a written constitution, revitalise rural life and get rid of nuclear weapons.
The report from Labour politicians rules out devolution of employment law, foreign policy and defence, most welfare benefits, the constitution, immigration and broadcasting. It also fails to deliver on the expected devolution of all income tax, something Scottish leader Johann Lamont had pressed for last year.
Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:
“Labour’s description of the UK as a sharing union in which risks and rewards are collectively pooled would have been laughable even before the scandals of bonuses for failed bankers, tax avoidance by the wealthy few, and an assault on welfare and public services. But now it’s beyond a joke – it’s an insult to intelligence.
“This effort by Labour is a massive failure to seize the opportunity the referendum presents. Whatever side you’re on it’s a chance to think big and redefine Scottish self-government. Instead Johann Lamont and her colleagues have chosen to tinker at the edges of a broken system.
“We know from polls that a significant number of Labour supporters will vote Yes, and I expect that number to grow in light of today’s report. Those of us on the left who want to close the wealth gap, rebalance relations between employers and workers, establish a peaceful foreign policy, develop a welcoming immigration policy and get rid of nuclear weapons must vote Yes in September.”