The campaign for Scottish independence will take a hit later today when Britain's former Prime Minister Gordon Brown states that Scottish pensioners are "better protected" as part of the UK.
According to released excerpts from his speech for the Better Together rally, the Labour party minister will say that Scotland needs to stay part of the UK, in order to share "risks and resources" when it comes to their savings.
"In fact the real debate is between two Scottish visions of Scotland's future," Brown will say at Glasgow University on 22 April.
"The nationalist one based on the breaking of all political links with the UK, and our vision based on a strong Scottish Parliament backed up by a system of pooling and sharing risks and resources across the UK.
"The whole point of sharing risks and resources across the UK is that it is right and proper that the British welfare state bears the rising cost of Scottish pensions as the number of old people will rise from one million to 1.3 million."
Scots' Rights on National Insurance
Scottish people will vote in an independence referendum on 18 September this year and will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
The referendum period starts on 30 May.
Brown will also reiterate that Scots have "the right" to reap the benefits of being part of the UK after paying National Insurance "all [their] lives."
"We have contributed in UK National Insurance all our lives to spread the risks of poverty in retirement," Brown will say.
"The Scottish National Party (SNP) government has said the case for independence should be judged on whether Scotland would benefit financially or not.
"It is clear that pensioners are better protected when the risks are spread across the UK and it is also clear that in the year the SNP want independence the Scots pension bill alone is three times the income from oil revenues."
Brown's Key Points on Better Together Campaign
- Scotland pays 8% of UK National Insurance but receives "upwards of 9%" of the benefits
- Scotland's gap between contributions and returns will rise from £425m to £700m per year over the next 20 years
- Britain is able to 'underwrite' Scotland's estimated £100bn public sector pensions bill.
- It would cost around £1bn for Scotland to create a new pension and benefits system to accommodate independence
Source: Better Together campaign / Brown will use previously unpublished Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures and estimates