Miliband Vows Holyrood Powers Boost

A future UK Labour government would bring in new legislation to further extend Holyrood's powers, Ed Miliband will promise today.

During a visit to Dundee the Labour leader will announce a new "contract'' with the people of Scotland - five key pledges that he says Labour would deliver in its first Queen's Speech if the party wins next year's general election. 

Central to that is a commitment to introduce a new Scotland Act to implement the conclusions of a Labour review of the powers of the Scottish Parliament. 

The party's devolution commission recommended Scotland get more powers over income tax, including the ability to increase higher rates of income tax. 

Powers over housing benefit and the work programme should also be transferred to politicians north of the border, it concluded. 

Mr Miliband will use his visit to Scotland to promise to deliver on these measures if he becomes the prime minister after next May's general election.

But with Scots due to vote in the independence referendum in September this year, Mr Miliband will warn that 12 months from now the country could either be benefiting from a Labour government or could be in the middle of complex negotiations to leave the United Kingdom. 

Mr Miliband's "contract'' with Scots would also include a pledge to bring in a 50p rate of income tax for top earners - which could affect 14,000 people north of the border - as well as reintroducing the 10p tax band for low paid workers. 

Labour would also freeze gas and energy prices, and introduce a jobs guarantee for young people who have been out of work for a year or more, offering them a six month long paid position to help get them back into the employment market. 

In addition zero hours contracts would be banned, with workers being given more rights to demand fixed hours contracts, a move which Labour believes could help at least 90,000 workers in Scotland.

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