It is staggering that public sector expenditure makes up a full 50% of Scotland’s GDP and only 12% of households are net contributors, where the taxes they pay outweigh the benefits they receive through public spending.
Only 12% are responsible for generating Scotland’s wealth. There are people with household incomes of £50,000 who are paying thousands – indeed- tens of thousands of pounds in taxation, and even that doesn’t cover the amount of money government spends in their name.Now I'd like to see her "workings" but I did a few calculations in my head and am quite prepared to believe the basic message.
So what's the problem then?
It's this. Government statistics show that taxes collected in Scotland are slightly higher than our share of government expenditure, both devolved and reserved. So while it may well be so that only one Scot in eight is a net contributor to the state, the figure for the rest of the UK - and that essentially means England - must be worse.
But that message hasn't exactly made its way to the Tory heartlands has it? Read the comments in the Telegraph and see just how little is known about Scotland down south. Whenever each misconception is corrected, another ten pop up.
So I'd bet that most Tories at their Conference will be thinking: "Even the Scottish leader says that all the Jocks are living at our expense. Let's kick them out."
Is Ms Davidson in the pay of the SNP?
You just keep telling yourself this, David. Perhaps a few [other] deluded souls will believe you ;) It is telling that that there is no link to back up your 'slightly more' comments relating to "Government statistics" - if these are really as convincing as you imply I would expect you to be trumpeting them loudly!
Why doesn't your 'guru' Alex just have his referendum, sooner rather than later? The paltry arguments put forward for delaying it speaking VOLUMES. Sorry, I'm not buying into your contention, not even remotely ;)
The link is here. Key quote:
In 2010-11, total public sector expenditure for the benefit of Scotland by the UK Government, Scottish Government and all other tiers of the public sector, plus a per capita share of debt interest payments, was £63.8 billion. This is equivalent to 9.3 per cent of total UK public sector expenditure.
In 2010-11, total Scottish non-North Sea public sector revenue was estimated at £45.2 billion, (8.3 per cent of total UK non-North Sea revenue). Including a per capita share of North Sea revenue, total Scottish public sector revenue was estimated at £45.9 billion (8.3 per cent of UK total public sector revenue). When an illustrative geographical share of North Sea revenue is included, total Scottish public sector revenue was estimated at £53.1 billion (9.6 per cent of UK total public sector revenue).
So yes, it includes oil revenue on the same basis as other countries that have offshore oil.
None of this alters the fact that I think that almost all government expenditure should be scrapped...
Ah, I wondered if it would be proper government statistics, or only "Scottish Executive" (aka "Government") statistics - lol ;) Are there government statistics (i.e. UK Government) supporting what wee-Eck's crowd of chancers assert?
As Wilfred Owen said, in a completely different and altogether more important context, the "naming of parts" is crucial in a critical examination of what purport to be "facts".
"Government statistics show that taxes collected in Scotland are slightly higher than our share of government expenditure, both devolved and reserved. So while it may well be so that only one Scot in eight is a net contributor to the state, the figure for the rest of the UK - and that essentially means England - must be worse."
Not necessarily, David, for two reasons:
1. Wales and Northern Ireland are net recipients, England is a net contributor.
2. The distribution of wealth in England may be different to that in Scotland - if there is a broader distribution, then there will be a higher proportion of English people who are net contributors.
It would be nice to see comparable figures for the other countries in the UK - the net national contributions are relatively easy to find, but the proportion of households who are net contributors is somewhat harder.
The Scottish Government site says this:
"The estimates in this publication are consistent with the UK Public Sector Finance Statistics published in January 2012."
These figures have been quoted all over the place for quite some time now and were mentioned on another Telegraph piece on the day that Ms Davidson's speech was reported.
Yes, it may be that all of the deficit comes from Wales and Northern Ireland. But I'd like to see the detailed breakdown. The NI and Wales deficits would need to be huge to tilt Scottish and English surpluses into an overall UK deficit. But that may be so. Let's see the workings!
I now come to your second point. I don't know what the English distribution is but the significance of this whole debate is whether an independent Scotland would be financially viable. That wouldn't be effected by the internal English distribution. Nevertheless, all of the studies I've seen suggest that Scotland is a boringly average part of the UK. Needless-to-say were I running Scotland almost all government expenditure would stop.
There's a breakdown of per capita UK spending here: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN04033.pdf
This shows public spending per capita as -
Northern Ireland: £10,668
I can't find a similar breakdown for tax revenue at the moment, but it's likely to be proportional to GDP or GVA. There are figures for GVA per capita here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_Kingdom#Regional_variations
This shows GVA per capita as -
Northern Ireland: £15,795
So yes, the NI and Welsh deficits are likely to be huge.
On the second point: I was more interested in the specific point being made (proportion of net contributor households) than the wider context of Scottish independence. Yes, I'm reasonably certain that an independent Scotland would be economically viable; however, those nationalists expecting a massive windfall of (black) gold, currently stolen by the dastardly English, are likely to be somewhat disappointed.
Needless to say, were I running England...
Post a Comment