New Scottish Government official figures have once again confirmed that we are financially better off as part of the UK. The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report, a National Statistics publication assessed by the independent UK Statistics Authority, shows how all nations and regions in the UK benefit from the pooling and sharing of resources and risk.
This irons out the huge volatility of North Sea oil, which last year saw a steep rise in revenue as prices soared in the wake of Russia’s war against Ukraine, and the UK Government implemented a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
Public expenditure per person in Scotland on public services was £2,217 higher than the UK average, protecting our NHS, schools, and communities.
Scotland’s deficit in 2022/23 was £19.1billion – more than the annual cost of the entire NHS (£17.6 billion) – and nearly double the figure for the whole UK as a percentage of GDP.
Including North Sea oil revenues, the Scottish Government’s own figures for 2022/23 show:
Public spending in Scotland was £19,459 per person (£106.6 billion in total), while revenues raised in Scotland were £15,967 per person (£87.5 billion - a difference of £19.1 billion).
Public expenditure per person in Scotland on public services was £2,217 higher than the UK average, and revenues were £696 higher than the UK average.
Scotland makes up 8.2 per cent of the UK population, but 9.2 of UK public spending is in Scotland.
The combined value of spending and revenue in Scotland compared to the UK –the UK dividend - was £1,521 per person.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“There is no positive case for breaking up the UK, as these official figures produced by the economists in the Scottish civil service confirm.
“As part of the United Kingdom, we - alongside most nations and regions in the UK - have more to spend on vital public services as we pool and share resources and risk across the entire country.
“This is a far better way to protect our schools and hospitals than rely on the extreme volatility of North Sea oil.
“With record waiting times in the NHS, community cuts, and tough challenges for businesses, the SNP and Greens should end their obsession with economic vandalism and focus on the people’s priorities.
“As part of the UK we are stronger together, and we can build a brighter future for every community in every nation and region.”