Scotland’s £1750 Union dividend revealed

People in Scotland benefited from a Union dividend of £1750 per head last year, according to new figures released today on Scotland’s finances.

This is an increase on the £1600 boost set out in last year’s Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures.

The annual GERS analysis reveals that, in 2016-17, public spending per person in Scotland was £13,175 – compared with £11,739 for the whole of the UK, a difference of £1437.

In addition, the average raised in taxes per head for the whole UK is £11,035, compared with £10,722 in Scotland, a gap of £312.

It means the Union dividend is the greatest since GERS records began in 1998.

The new figures also expose the scale of the SNP’s deception prior to the 2014 referendum, when it insisted a Yes vote would boost prosperity.

In fact – for the first year of what would have been independence Scotland ran a deficit of 8.3% – higher than any EU member state, and double that of Spain, the next highest.

The SNP claimed that, in 2016-17, Scotland would earn between £6.8 billion and £7.9 billion from oil taxes, helping to sustain spending on schools and hospitals.

The true figure, today’s figures show, was £208 million.

Michelle Ballantyne, Scottish Conservative and Unionist for South Scotland, commented that: 

"Today’s figures confirm that every single person in Scotland is £1,750 better off because of our membership of the United Kingdom.

The truth is that when times are tough we can rely on the weight of the whole UK to ensure that our schools, hospitals and public services remain decently funded.

That is why instead of continuing to campaign on independence, the SNP should accept that they got it wrong during the Referendum and focus on using the powers they have to build up Scotland’s economy and deliver healthier public finances."