The latest official Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures have demonstrated ‘beyond doubt’ that Scotland is stronger as part of the UK.
The figures for 2018/19 show:
- Public spending in Scotland was £75.3bn, but tax revenues raised in Scotland were only £62.7bn.
- Scotland’s deficit was therefore £12.6bn or 7.0 per cent of GDP, compared to just 1.1 per cent across the UK.
- Scotland’s public sector revenue was £11,531 per person, £307 less than the UK average, while total expenditure in Scotland was £13,854 per person, £1,661 higher than the UK average.
- The UK dividend – the difference between how much Scotland contributed per head in taxes and received back in public spending – is therefore £1,968 per head or £7,872 for a family-of-four.
- Scotland generated 8% of the UK’s total revenues and benefitted from 9.3% of the UK’s total public spending.
- Scotland’s deficit was over twice as high as the 3 per cent level set by the EU.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“These official SNP Government figures show that all of us in Scotland benefit from our place in the UK. The SNP’s economic blueprint is in tatters.
“It is beyond doubt that we are stronger in the UK, with the UK dividend worth nearly £2,000 to every person in Scotland. In an independent Scotland, the SNP would take that money out of families’ pockets.
“Our deficit is over six times higher than the entire UK, but our public services in Scotland are protected thanks to the pooling and sharing of resources across the UK.
“If a separate Scotland joins the EU it would need to dramatically reduce its deficit, which would require deeper spending cuts or steeper tax rises.
“Whatever you think of Brexit, it’s clear that independence is not the answer. Nicola Sturgeon should drop her reckless threat of a divisive second independence referendum and her plan to ditch the pound and put our economy at risk.”