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The SNP's Constitution Secretary Michael Russell MSP has been challenged to apologise for lying about Scotland’s finances.

Mr Russell claimed on Twitter that ‘Scotland pays out more than it gets back’.

But official Scottish Government figures show that Scotland generates 8 per cent of the UK's taxes, and benefits from 9.3 per cent of the UK's public spending.

Last year, public spending in Scotland was £75.3bn, but tax revenues raised in Scotland were £62.7bn.

The difference between how much Scotland contributes per head in taxes and receives back in public spending is therefore £1,968 per head.

Scotland’s deficit is £12.6bn or 7 per cent of GDP, compared to just 1.1 per cent across the UK.

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

“This is a blatant attempt to mislead voters and Michael Russell should apologise for lying.

“Official figures produced by his own government detail the accurate position, and show that we benefit from higher spending than we raise in revenues.

“It is beyond any doubt that Scotland is stronger as part of the UK.

“It is for the SNP to explain what it would do differently in a separate Scotland, and whether it would raise taxes or reduce public spending to balance the books.

“But by remaining in the UK we can have a successful economic future based on pooling and sharing resources.”

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