Bombshell figures have revealed the gap between public spending in Scotland and the rest of the UK has reached a record high.
New Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) statistics have shown an “enormous gap” between what Scotland raises in tax and what it spends in public services, totalling nearly £2000 for every man, woman and child.
And public spending here is £1661 more per person than the rest of Britain, it was revealed.
It means Scotland accounts for half of the UK’s entire deficit, despite having roughly 10 per cent of the population.
The net fiscal deficit was £12.6 billion in 2018/19, which is seven per cent of GDP. In contrast, the UK’s overall deficit is 1.1 per cent.
Even in European terms, the country with the next worst deficit is Cyprus, with 4.8 per cent.
It follows the publication of yesterday’s GERS figures which revealed that Scotland is currently running a £12.6bn a year deficit.
A major Oxford University report coinciding with the report has now found that, under the Nationalists’ new plan to pay for independence, Scotland “would quickly amass unsustainable levels of debt and the cost of servicing it would require large cuts in public services.”
Despite this, Nicola Sturgeon is expected to accelerate her bid for a second independence referendum, having said she wants to hold one as early as next year.
Michelle Ballantyne, MSP for South Scotland said these figures provided a clear argument that the SNP’s independence bid should be taken off the table:
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:
“These figures reveal an enormous gap between what Scotland spends and what it raises in tax.
“We can have much higher spending in Scotland on public services thanks only to fiscal transfers from the rest of the UK, now worth £2000 for every man, woman and child in Scotland.
“These figures make it clear – had we followed Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon’s advice in 2014 and backed independence – Scotland would now be facing up to an unprecedented financial black hole
“It beggars belief that the SNP are trying to ignore their own data on spending. It’s time to take indyref2 off the table and back a Scottish Conservative plan to get back to the issues that matter like education and our NHS.”