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GERS 2022: Every penny of public spending counts

The latest official Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures have highlighted why every penny of public spending matters during a cost-of-living crisis.

The figures show that all nations and regions in the UK are supported by the pooling and sharing of resources and risk.

In the good times and the tough times, together, we can get through this.

Let’s stick together.

Including North Sea oil revenues, the Scottish Government’s own figures for 2021/22 show:

• Public spending in Scotland was £17,793 per person (£97.5 billion or 9.2% of total UK expenditure), while revenues raised in Scotland were £13,463 per person (£73.8billion or 8.0% of total UK revenue).

• Public expenditure per person in Scotland on public services was £1,963 higher than the UK average, and revenues were £221 lower than the UK average.

• The combined value of higher spending and lower revenue in Scotland compared to the UK was therefore £2,184 per person.

• Scotland’s notional deficit was £23.7billion – far above the annual cost of the entire NHS. As a percentage of GDP that is 12.3%, more than double the 6.1% for the UK as a whole.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:

“Times are hard right now.

“The cost-of-living crisis is pushing many people into poverty and hardship.

“Following years of SNP mismanagement, our cherished NHS is struggling, our schools are under-staffed and under-resourced, and workers are worried about their future.

“In a time of crisis, every penny of public money counts.

“We put our trust in governments to spend it wisely, not waste it on an unwanted second referendum or divide the people of Scotland once again.

“The Scottish Government’s official figures show that as part of the UK we can spend more on vital public services such as our NHS and spend more on supporting the most vulnerable in society.

"And that’s even taking account of rising oil and gas revenues, which we know from recent years are extremely volatile.

“In tough times, we get through this by bringing communities together, not pulling them apart.”

Pamela added:

“People across Scotland are fed up with the SNP and Greens obsessing about leaving the UK.

“Fewer than three in 10 are in agreement with Nicola Sturgeon about her plan for another divisive referendum next year, but still she persists.

“What we need is a Scottish Government focused on the day job, finding solutions to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis and repairing the damage it has done to our public services.

“We should be sticking together through these times and ensuring that people and businesses in Scotland can have a bright and secure future.

“It’s time for Scotland’s priorities, not the SNP’s.”

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