Nicola Sturgeon has accused David Cameron of breaching his post-referendum promise of giving Scotland more powers, as his English-only manifesto gives English MPs the final say on income tax rates.
The Conservative manifesto sets out plans for the implementation of English Votes for English laws within a year of the May General Election.
It also includes an extended promise to have financial issues dealt with in the same way, to reflect the devolution of Scotland’s tax-raising powers.
The Smith Commission, which consecrated the vow of more Scottish powers before the referendum took place, said: “MPs representing constituencies across the whole of the UK will continue to decide the UK’s Budget, including income tax.”
Sturgeon said: “What he is announcing today is firstly a direct breach of the Smith Commission proposals.
“But I’ve made clear on a number of occasions that if there are matters that are genuinely English only, that have no impact in Scotland, I think there’s a strong case for Scottish MPs not voting on them.
“The problem is there’s a lot of issues characterised as English-only issues that are anything but – matters relating to the English health service for example. Decisions taken on that have a direct impact on Scotland’s budget.”
Speaking on a visit to a children’s workshop, the SNP leader added: “I would vote against anything that prevented Scottish MPs standing up for Scotland’s interests.”
After Chancellor George Osborne marked the publication of the English manifesto, former prime minister Gordon Brown last night accused the Tories of “whipping up anti-Scottish feeling” and becoming “the party of English nationalism”.
The Chancellor posed for photos in The Sun with the St. George’s flag in a pub in Ed Ball’s constituency of Morley and Outwood.
Osborne said he was “proud” to fly the flag, which he felt had been “recaptured” in recent years.
Sturgeon said: “I think people across Scotland will be listening to what the Prime Minister is saying now and contrasting that with what the Prime Minister said during the referendum campaign.
“Back then, it was ‘Scotland’s got a right to make its voice heard in the UK, Scotland should seek to lead the UK, not leave the UK’, now it’s, well, that only counts if we do what he wants us to do and vote how he wants us to vote.”
In an interview with The Herald, Sturgeon also detailed how she plans to divide a minority Labour government by convincing its backbenchers to back her policies at Westminster.
She also said that she was “not at this moment planning another referendum”, and would not be pressured into proposing one in the 2016 Holyrood manifesto.
She said: “The fact of the matter is, Scotland’s got a right to make its voice heard in whatever way Scotland chooses to do so.”