Monday 28 December 2009

Deficit? Scotland? With our reputation?

I read a story that suggested that Scotland's doomed, doomed I tell you. Well, actually, Labour has been *ahem* creative with Government stats to show that Scotland runs a deficit in public funds - £23.5bn since 1980. Labour politicians, of course, rush to claim that this means that Scotland could not survive as an independent nation.

A few points, sir?

1. If Scotland's economy is in trouble, is that not the fault of the Labour Government in London which has managed to create a quite amazing economic melt-down?

2. You'd have to be daft to take this story at face value. Firstly, the report referred to isn't available on either the Scotland Office website or the Treasury website - if it's so important, wouldn't it be published to allow it to be independently reviewed?

3. Countries run deficits, very few countries don't run deficits - and the UK runs an enormous one; have a look at the Public Finances Database. The Government paper is alleged to indicate that Scotland would have "a massive £3.5 billion budget deficit" - the UK deficit last year was £49.3bn. Scotland has about 9% of the UK population, so our population share of the UK deficit would be £4.44bn, so Scotland is performing better in economic terms than the UK. Since 1980 Scotland is supposed to have an accumulated deficit of £23.5bn, but the UK has carried a £353.2bn deficit over that period, and Scotland's population share of that deficit would have been£31.79bn. So what the Scotland Office / Treasury report actually shows is that Scotland performs better than the UK economically. Independence cannot come soon enough!

Mind how you go!

1 comment:

Strathturret said...

The first shots in the GE war?

There are also the large areas of government expenditure where we don't get our fair share. Two examples would be defence and BBC (heavily weighted to SE England/Londonshire).