Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon blows a kiss following a speech in front of a Forward banner
Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon blows a kiss following a speech in front of a Forward bannerReuters

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's claim that welfare will remain largely unchanged in the event of Scotland becoming independent, will come under scrutiny today by her opponents at Labour and the Better Together campaign.

Sturgeon will attempt to allay fears that welfare budgets and benefits will be hit, when she will addresses a range of communities about the SNP's approach to benefits today.

The Better Together campaign has consistently said that welfare spending would face cuts as an independent country would obviously not be able to benefit from a United Kingdom's public purse.

"The welfare state is one of the UK's proudest achievements. It was founded on the basis of need, not nationality, so that those who fall on hard times get the support they need," said Labour in a statement.

"To make that founding principle a reality we need to be able to fund our welfare state. Independence puts that at risk. The experts at the impartial Institute for Fiscal Studies are clear that leaving the UK would mean an extra £6bn (€7.6bn, $9.8bn) of cuts.

"The SNP's welfare claims simply don't add up. Alex Salmond needs to tell people in Scotland how his welfare promises would be paid for when independence would bring about austerity plus."

Scottish people will vote in an independence referendum on 18 September, 2014, and will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"