Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Pensioners urged to back 'Yes' vote

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Media captionSturgeon: Pensions 'guaranteed' in an independent Scotland

Deputy Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged pensioners to vote for independence, during the last week of campaigning before Thursday's vote.

She said a "Yes" vote would ensure their grandchildren were given opportunities denied to previous generations by Tory governments.

Ms Sturgeon's message was backed by political veteran Winnie Ewing, a former SNP MP, MEP and MSP.

Pro-Union campaigners said independence would put pensions at risk.

Campaigning in Hamilton, Ms Sturgeon said pensions would be legally guaranteed in an independent Scotland, adding: "A generation ago, the people of Scotland were told to vote 'No' to get a better form of devolution.

"What we got instead was 18 years of Tory governments that we didn't vote for, the destruction of our manufacturing sector, and a generation of young people left on the scrapheap.

"Scotland can, and must, make sure this never happens again - we must look to the future and ensure that future generations have the opportunities that their parents and grandparents never had.

"So our plea today to pensioners in Scotland is this: you lived through the Thatcher years, you lived through the waste of opportunity, you lived through the squandering of Scotland's oil wealth - don't let Westminster repeat the mistakes of the past."

Pensions 'risk'

Dr Ewing, who famously won 1967 Hamilton by-election for the SNP, added: "I'm old enough to appreciate having grandchildren, so I'm in a position to realise it's vital for them to grow up in a fair society where their aspirations are listened to, and where they're afforded the chances they need."

Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown has said a "Yes" vote would put pensions at risk and cost more, arguing people in Scotland currently get a higher contribution to their pension pot than people elsewhere in the UK.

The Better Together campaign for the Union said the current UK system worked well through the pooling of resources and the spreading of risk.

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