Scottish Independence Will Hurt the Country's Welfare System, Warns Former PM Gordon Brown
Remaining as part of the United Kingdom will help Scotland prosper, says former PM Gordon Brown Reuters

Britain's former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned voters that Scottish independence would significantly hurt the country's state-funded welfare system and that staying part of the 307-year union would help the region prosper more.

The Labour minister, who served as PM between 2007 and 2010, also highlighted in a speech that Scotland would be better off as part of the UK which is likely to grant it more powers to control its own taxation if it remains part of the union after the September referendum.

Scottish Independence: Latest Polls
Scottish Independence: Latest Polls Reuters / Agencies

"I'm asking you to vote 'No', because I'm asking you to cast a vote for social justice," added Brown.

"Social justice is not advanced by retreating into independence [and if Scots voted 'Yes'] inequality would last until doomsday."

Scottish people are set to vote for independence on 18 September with a straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The referendum period started on 30 May.

Brown previously warned Scotland that breaking away from the UK would hurt one of society's most vulnerable demographic -- pensioners.

"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," said Brown in April.

At the time, he also used Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures to argue that an independent Scotland would face an overall pensioner benefit bill of more than £9bn ($15bn, €10.9bn) a year.

Brown's Key Points on Better Together Campaign

  1. Scotland pays 8% of UK National Insurance but receives "upwards of 9%" of the benefits
  2. Scotland's gap between contributions and returns will rise from £425m to £700m per year over the next 20 years
  3. Britain is able to 'underwrite' Scotland's estimated £100bn public sector pensions bill.
  4. It would cost around £1bn for Scotland to create a new pension and benefits system to accommodate independence