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'Pensioner time bomb' if Scotland goes it alone

Scotland faces a "pensions time bomb" if it choses to leave the union in September's referendum, according to former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Independence will put pensioners in a precarious position, Gordon Brown will say. Credit: PA

Pensions will be more secure and cheaper to administer if Scotland remains in the UK, the Scottish Labour MP will say in his first speech for the cross-party Better Together campaign.

However, if Scotland leaves the union, the first annual pension bill would be "three times the income from oil", the former Labour party leader is expected to say in his speech.

And it faces a "pensioner time bomb" as the number of elderly people is growing faster than the working age population, an internal Department of Work and Pensions memo procured by Mr Brown said.

Brown: Independent Scotland to face pensions struggle

An independent Scotland's first annual pension bill will be three times as much as oil revenues, according to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Gordon Brown will warn of the cost of pensions in an independent Scotland in a speech tomorrow Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Brown is expected to say that pensions would be more secure and cheaper to run if Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom, in a speech tomorrow for the anti-independence Better Together campaign.

Scotland faces a £100 billion public sector pensions bill and a "pensioner time bomb" as the number of elderly people grows faster than the working age population, Mr Brown will say.

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Gordon Brown to 'remain an MP', says spokesman

Former prime minster Gordon Brown "will remain" an MP, denying speculation that he could stand down in 2015, his spokesman has said.

The news came after the New Statesman magazine reported that he would stand down from the Commons at the general election next year, but Mr Brown's office said the former Labour leader remained an MP and had "no plans to make any announcement to the contrary".

Brown will continue to be a Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Since leaving No 10 Mr Brown has combined his job as a constituency MP with acting as the UN special envoy for global education.

"He is, and will remain, Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and he has no plans to make any announcement to the contrary," his spokesman said.

Brown : 'Radical transfer of powers to Edinburgh'

The six pillars of Gordon Brown's plan to revamp the UK's relationship with Scotland will outline a "radical" transfer of powers downwards from Westminster and Edinburgh to local communities". It also includes:

  • A new UK constitutional law setting out a plan to share resources for defence and security.
  • A constitutional guarantee of the permanence of the Scottish Parliament.
  • A new division of powers between Scotland and Westminster that gives Holyrood more powers in employment, health, transport and economic regeneration.
  • A new tax sharing agreement that balances the commitment of the UK to pool and share its resources.
  • New power-sharing partnerships to address shared problems on poverty, unemployment, housing need and the environment.

Brown to call for 'power sharing' in Scotland speech

Fife MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Gordon Brown is expected to say in a speech later that he wants to move from a "old highly-centralised" Britain to "power sharing".

I want to move us from the old highly-centralised, uniform Britain dominated by out-of-date ideas of an undivided Westminster sovereignty to a new diverse power-sharing, risk-sharing, resource-sharing UK which is best defined not as an old union but as a modern, constitutional partnership of nations.

– Gordon Brown

Mr Brown will outline his plans to an audience in the east end of Glasgow later today.The former Prime Minister and Chancellor has spoken out on issues surrounding the independence debate in the past.

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Gordon Brown to announce six point plan for Scotland

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to use a speech to propose six "major" constitutional changes to revamp the UK's relationship with Scotland, outlining his vision for the country within the Union.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Brown will argue his plans for a new power-sharing constitutional partnership between Scotland and the rest of the UK represent a "radical break" from the status quo and a more appealing offer than "irreversible" independence.

Such a view of Scotland's future represents a "clear, positive alternative" to independence, and is one which will deliver a strong Holyrood and enable the country to meet the challenges of poverty, health inequality and poor educational standards, it is claimed.

Ex-PM Brown wants constitutional reforms for Scotland

Constitutional reforms should be made to create a "union for social justice" in which the UK can pool and share resources for the benefit of all, according to former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Brown says Scotland will be strengthened by his proposed constitutional changes while remaining within the union.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown Credit: PA

The former PM is due to give a speech on Scotland's future in his constituency today and will say: "I am of the view that the party that first created a powerful Scottish Parliament is best-placed to strengthen devolution and to create a stronger Scottish Parliament in a stronger UK.

"We can show how with our reforms, to be implemented by Labour administrations in Westminster and in Edinburgh, we can address some of the greatest social and economic challenges a future Scotland faces."

Gordon Brown: South Africans saw Mandela as a friend

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was at the memorial service, has said that South Africans see Nelson Mandela as "not just a president but as a friend".

He told ITV News that it was a "privilege" to work with Mandela, adding that he "teaches us that nothing is impossible, as long as you have hope".

Brown fondly recalls Mandela call after son's birth

Gordon Brown fondly recalls the moment he had a "father to father" conversation with Nelson Mandela.

The former Prime Minister told ITV News that Mandela had phoned to congratulate him the day after his son's birth:

Brown said: "We'd both lost children and we had what was not a statesman to statesman conversation but a father to father conversation.

"That was Mandela all the time - the personal care he took in his relationships, his great sense of humour .... he was just a very complete and warm human being".

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