GERS figures released; White Paper’s dishonesty exposed

In the month that Scotland would have become independent had the referendum vote been a Yes, the annual Scottish expenditure and revenues bulletin GERS shows Scotland’s public spending was almost £15bn more than its tax revenue in the last financial year.

Including a geographic share of offshore tax revenue, Scotland’s 2014-15 deficit was £14.9bn, or 9.7% of GDP. The equivalent measure for the UK as a whole was a deficit of £89bn. That was 4.9% of GDP.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said:

“These figures from the SNP Government show once and for all the devastating impact leaving the UK would have had on Scotland’s finances.

The fact that the cuts that would have been needed after separation would have been five times more than those being imposed now by George Osborne gives a sense of the impact on our schools and hospitals. People were misled by the SNP in the run-up to the referendum and that is unforgivable.

Voting to stay in the UK and the recent fiscal framework deal means that the Barnett formula is protected. The new consensus in Scottish politics around the principle of no detriment and the value of pooling and sharing resources must extend to all constitutional choices.

We avoided these massive cuts by voting to remain in the UK and we can avoid the cuts that are actually taking place to schools and other vital public services now by voting Labour. We have put forward a bold plan to stop the SNP’s cuts by setting a Scottish rate of Income Tax just 1p higher than the rate set by George Osborne. Faced with the choice between using the powers of the Scottish Parliament to invest in the future and grow our economy or carrying on with the SNP’s cuts to schools, we choose to use the powers.”

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4 thoughts on “GERS figures released; White Paper’s dishonesty exposed

  1. Oh I think its pretty obvious that the only dishonesty being portrayed is in trying to present the fact that oil revenues are down 1% while non Oil revenue is up 3.2% as a blow against Independence.

    No lie too big no lie no ludicrous no lie too obvious.

  2. The major elephant in the room where the doom-mongerering is concerned is the fact that these supposedly horrendous figures do not pertain to an independent Scotland, but are instead those of a Scotland we are constantly being told “thrives” under the Union. If Scotland “thrived” under the Union, the GERS figures would be very positive (as our small, independent neighbour’s are). If they are really as bad as this article claims, you have to wonder why the likes of Ms Dugdale want us to remain in a Union that is so evidently failing us?

  3. A first world economy, with a huge engineering tradition, and an excellent education system, discovers a huge oil field on its doorstep.
    That oilfield is exploited as quickly as possible as the UK is, as usual, in economic trouble, so bypassing to a large extent, Scotland economic interests—Scottish Steel was being closed down at about the same time as Japanese steel products were being imported for the North Sea industry.
    Now, after 40 years of oil revenues flowing into London’s coffers, Scotland is gloatingly described as “bankrupt”.
    This, by the very same people charged with collecting our taxes, and controlling Scotland economy over that period.
    Sadly many Scottish politicians have joined in this self-loathing contempt for their own country, rather than ask some much needed questions. Why didn’t Scotland get more social and industrial infrastructure spending over this period? This indifference to Scotland’s economic woes is the real reason Labour has lost trust.
    Meanwhile little Norway has taken its time and allowed its own industry to learn the oil business. It is now one of the wealthiest countries in the world, starting from a very similar position as Scotland ( I was in Bodo, Tromso and Harstad in 1968).

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