This, plus the money directly channelled to Scotland by Whitehall, such as social security and defence industry outgoings, will mean spending of more than £11,000 for each man, woman and child in the country - half of it by the Scottish Executive:Not good enough: we want to be number one.
By international standards, this is a fortune. Nationmaster, which compares figures for every country in the world, finds only one administration that will shower more cash on its population than Scotland: the Vatican City, whose population is only 940.
Seriously though, this is outrageous. High state spending is crowding out the private sector. What young person entering the job market in Scotland nowadays won't be tempted by a government job, especially when one considers the hugely generous pension benefits? I know someone who joined the civil service at 15 and retired at 45! Who would want to start a business in this kind of environment? The way forward is for Scotland to be fully responsible for raising all of its own taxes with an appropriate sum sent to London for things like defence. Then we might get some kind of rebellion by taxpayers and a little discipline imposed on the tax-consuming class.
Alternatively, we may as well go for the big one and make Jack McConnell Pope, allowing us to live off the tourist money as he addresses the crowds at St Giles' Cathedral each week. Quite how this would go down in Glasgow is another matter altogether...