Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 13 June 2013.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond First Minister of Scotland, Leader, Scottish National Party

Can I correct Johann Lamont? One of the reasons why we want independence is so that we can have social justice for the Scottish people. I note that only a few weeks ago Johann Lamont said that if she could be persuaded of that point, she would support independence, so let me have a go at persuading her.

One thing that independence will guarantee for the people is that we will not have different rates of benefits from the rest of the United Kingdom. I quote from the Daily Record—a very reliable source indeed—of 4 June:

“Scots could get welfare benefits at lower rates than people in wealthy parts of England under plans being worked on by Labour.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls yesterday raised the idea of a regional cap on welfare, opening the door to variations in a range of social security benefits.”

Not only will independence free us from the bedroom tax that is being imposed by the Tory party, it will free us from Ed Balls’s plans to pay people in Scotland less benefits than people in wealthy parts of England.