Scotland in Union has welcomed new research which shows Scotland enjoys higher spending on public services, more capital investment and lower taxes as a result of being in the UK.
A new report by economic consultants Europe Economics - commissioned by Scotland in Union and using the latest GERS figures – has shown that being part of the UK is worth c£8.8bn to Scotland.
Read the report here
This has been described as Scotland’s ‘Union Dividend’ by Alastair Cameron, Director of the Scotland in Union campaign.
The key findings are:
· Total public expenditure in Scotland is 14 per cent higher than the rest of the UK – worth £8.2bn, or £1,530 for every individual in Scotland.
· There is an emphasis on capital spending, which is 34 per cent higher than the rest of the UK, while current spending is only 12 per cent higher.
· Spending on key public services is higher with 188 per cent more on economic development, 126 per cent more on housing, 11 per cent more on education and training and five per cent more on health.
· Combined council tax and non-domestic rates have fallen since devolution in 1999 relative to the rest of the UK from £252 per head higher to £118 per head lower.
· The total 'Union Dividend' is estimated by Europe Economics to be worth £8.8bn to Scotland.
Responding to the report, Scotland in Union Director Alastair Cameron said:
“This clearly shows the enormous financial benefits that we in Scotland enjoy from our place in the UK. The ‘Union Dividend’ is a return on our long contribution to the success of the United Kingdom and all that we have achieved together over generations of shared history, culture and endeavour.
“This is an exciting time for Scottish politics with more powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament and a dynamic debate about how we use them to improve lives while retaining the security and stability which come from being part of the UK.
“This analysis demonstrates how the ‘dividend’ is being used by the Scottish Parliament to pursue its own priorities and sets out the possibilities available ahead to Scotland's politicians and the people they represent.
“They can decide whether to spend the ‘Union Dividend’ on public services, to invest it for the long term, similar in some way to establishing an oil fund, or to return it to taxpayers.
“All choices are possible and have, to an extent, been used by previous administrations. The competing plans on how to spend the ‘Union Dividend’ in combination with the new tax powers is what the forthcoming Holyrood elections are all about and we look forward to this debate.”