Monday 28 December 2009

Oil and Deficits

Calum Cashley has already been on the case over this report in the Scotsman.

Here is Calum's main point:

The Government paper is alleged to indicate that Scotland would have "a massive £3.5 billion budget deficit" - the UK deficit last year was £49.3bn. Scotland has about 9% of the UK population, so our population share of the UK deficit would be £4.44bn, so Scotland is performing better in economic terms than the UK. Since 1980 Scotland is supposed to have an accumulated deficit of £23.5bn, but the UK has carried a £353.2bn deficit over that period, and Scotland's population share of that deficit would have been£31.79bn. So what the Scotland Office / Treasury report actually shows is that Scotland performs better than the UK economically.
I wouldn't be in the least surprised if the UK government is being economical with the truth about oil and deficits. But I've always thought that an independent Scotland could survive and prosper even with no oil revenues. In fact, we might even be better off without oil. What matters are the cultural attitudes of the population and the economic policies carried out by the government. Scotland has had a business oriented population in the past and it can have one again in the future.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

David Farrer

30 December 2009, 19:06:37 GMT
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David Farrer
Hi Bill,   
I share your pessimism. 
The blog is totally screwed up at the moment as a result of attempting to load a new template and then reverting to the old one. I can't post anything new and the archive links don't work. Everything seems to be there in the "edit posts" section of the dashboard but nothing is working on the F&W screen itself. I've sent blogger a help request. 

30 December 2009, 13:04:20 GMT
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Bill (Scotland)
I agree there is no reason why Scotland could not prosper as a separate political entity - turning that 'could' into 'will' is the trick to perform. I don't say it can't be done, and I would love to see it being done (not the separation/independence bit, because I'm perfectly happy to be 'British' and remain so), but can you explain how the overwhelming 'socialist' mind-set of most Scots is to be harnessed to this enterprise, when 'socialism' as a political system has been so thoroughly discredited wherever it has been tried, not least in this country. The rpesent governments (whether in London or Edinburgh) SAY they believe in a 'market led' economic model, but in practise they do not permit it to happen, because there is always some (non-productive) 'client' part of the economy to buy off or assuage.

28 December 2009, 14:37:08 GMT