Responding to findings from the Institute for Fiscal Studies this week that the SNP manifesto could lead to more austerity for Scotland and increase inequality, Liberal Democrat candidate for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, called the report a "bombshell". The IFS found that the SNP manifesto policies were uncosted but were likely to require significant budget cuts and tax increases in order to reduce the deficit, as demanded in nationalist plans for independence.
Mr. Carmichael said:
"The IFS findings are a bombshell. They strike at the heart of nationalist claims to be able to avoid tax rises and spending cuts in an independent Scotland. It seems that austerity for Scotland is perfectly fine if it is SNP-led austerity. The suggestion that SNP policy would also lead to increasing inequality only compounds the potential harm. The SNP like to say they offer an "escape" for Scotland. This looks more like escaping the frying pan to fall into the fire."
"The SNP cannot even seem to tell us what their proposals would cost. The devil is always in the detail and it is concerning that Nicola Sturgeon wants to hide away the actual figures behind her policies. Perhaps it is because the sums just don't add up.
"The inability to work out the price of their policies is a little ironic given the continuing drop in maths education under this SNP Government. It is increasingly clear that only the Liberal Democrats have a credible plan to fight inequality and build a brighter future for our country."