THE First Minister will warn that the impact of the General Election could be “deeply damaging”, as he accuses both the Tories and Labour of “concealing” the extent of likely spending cuts in the aftermath of July 4.

John Swinney will use a campaign speech in Glasgow on Friday to insist that while investment in public services is needed “urgently”, both the main Westminster parties are “engaged in a conspiracy of silence” about the impact of their tax and spending choices.

His claim comes just days after the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said that both Labour and the Conservatives are “avoiding the reality” that their plans lock them into “sharp” spending cuts after the election.

The SNP leader will set out how public spending is “becoming the defining issue of this election”, arguing that “after years of Westminster cuts and economic mismanagement, and policy disasters like Brexit, we urgently need to see investment in the services which we all hold dear”.

The First Minister, who is set to address SNP supporters on a visit to Glasgow, will add that the campaign is a “test of just how much political parties value institutions like our NHS”.

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Swinney will say: “As the election gets closer, it is becoming clear that Labour and the Tories are concealing the true effects of their approach to fiscal policy from the public.

“They are concealing the huge budget cuts that will be involved.

“The Tories are more interested in cutting taxes for the rich, while quietly abandoning public services to their fate.

“Meanwhile, Labour are dancing to the Tory tune – terrified of doing anything other than matching Conservative tax plans while trying to sound just as tough on spending and borrowing.

“As the Institute for Fiscal Studies have warned, both Labour and the Tories are engaged in a conspiracy of silence about the true scale of tax and spending choices.”

The SNP leader will claim that is “deeply damaging for Scotland”.

Swinney will tell voters that the “mainstream centre left” values of the SNP give his party the “unwavering conviction that strong public services and a strong economy go hand in hand”.

Adding that “after 14 years of Westminster cuts, our public services cannot take any more”, the First Minister will argue that independence could mean more money for services.

He will say: “Neighbouring independent countries similar to Scotland are wealthier than the UK, and they have far more money to spend on their public services.

“In this election, we’ll be asking people to consider – why not Scotland?”

But Scottish Conservative finance spokesperson Liz Smith said that “John Swinney and the SNP have no credibility on this issue”, claiming that the Scottish Government’s “disastrous tax-and-axe budget” had “delivered eye-watering public spending cuts”.

Smith said: “Recent independent analysis by the Fraser of Allander Institute confirmed that the SNP Government has had an increasing block grant from the UK Government, yet, despite this, the Nationalists’ mismanagement of Scotland’s finances has meant brutal cuts to lifeline services.

“By making Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK, the SNP have stunted growth and ensured Scots are paying more and receiving less.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “The SNP is lifting straight from the Tory playbook and spouting desperate nonsense about Labour’s plans.

“Labour has been clear that we will end austerity and deliver a badly-needed boost to public services, and we will do it in a way that keeps down in inflation and interest rates to help household finances.

“The SNP has taken Tory austerity and amplified it with years of mismanagement and waste – from handing back up to £450 million of EU funding to wasting £5 billion of public money.

“Only a Labour government can put an end to Tory austerity and deliver the change Scotland needs – at this election we need to make sure we do that.”