Scotland has benefited from levels of public spending higher than the rest of the UK over the past year, with a ‘Union dividend’ worth nearly £2,000 per person, official figures have revealed.
The Scottish Government today published the Government Revenue and Expenditure (GERS) statistics, which show how much raised in taxes and how much was spent on public services over the past year.
Scotland’s notional deficit – the gap between revenue and spending – rose from £13.1billion in 2018/19 to £15.1billion in 2019-20.
That is more than the entire NHS budget north of the border for the whole year.
And at 8.6% of GDP compared to 2.5% for the UK, it would far exceed the requirement for EU entry of less than 3%.
The figures also said that Scotland raised £308 less per person than the UK average in taxes, but public spending was £1,663 higher per person in north of the border.
The combined value of higher spending and lower revenue was £1,941, an increase from £1,805 in 2018-19.
Mr Duguid said
These figures produced by the Scottish Government have once again shown what a great deal we get from being part of the United Kingdom.
Public spending is higher here than in the rest of the UK – despite Scotland raising less in taxes than the UK average.
It adds up to a Union dividend of an extra £1,941 for every man, woman and child in Scotland this year.
That is what is at risk if Scotland breaks away from the rest of the UK.
An extra £15.1billion would have to be found to plug the gap – which could only mean huge tax rises or public spending cuts after separation.
With a deficit running at 8.6% of GDP, a separate Scotland would also fail to meet the basic requirements for entry into the EU.
Today’s figures highlight once again that the SNP’s case for breaking up the UK and taking us back into the EU just doesn’t add up.
You can read the full GERS report here on the Scottish Government website.