Businessman and economics blogger Kevin Hague was a guest speaker at the SIU event on 5th July 2015. Mr Hague explained that he just presents the economic facts, based largely on the Scottish Government's own 'GERS' statistics.
You can view Mr Hague's speech on YouTube: here.
Mr Hague used the Scottish Government's General Expenditure and Revenue Scotland statistics to show that Scotland's higher 'cost to serve' for public services, coupled with the volatility of oil revenues, means that pooling and sharing helps Scotland to continue to support public services. As an aside, he showed how Education and Training spending, relative to that of the UK, has fallen under the SNP government, while relative spending on Law and Order has increased.
Mr Hague demonstrated that in most years recently Scotland has been a net beneficiary of cross-UK pooling and sharing, though in some years Scotland has more than paid its way. He highlighted that the SNP was very selective in which years they chose for the 2014 'white paper', and also how the scenarios in that document had been overly optimistic, and revised upwards shortly before the referendum. He was therefore able to demonstrate the 'false prospectus' of the case for separation, even with oil at a price much higher than today's.
For more of Kevin Hague's analysis, please follow him on Twitter (@kevverage), or see his Chokka Blog: here.