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Scotland's 15.1 Billion Defecit


Terry_Tibbs
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29 minutes ago, scottsdad said:

I always thought this was a strange cause for the unionists. Basically they're saying that, within the UK, Scotland is running at a significant deficit. Surely this means that Scotland is not doing well within the union, and might perform better unshackled from the corpse of the the rUK?

I think the idea is that we're spendthrift, and we need to get with the programme of gradually abandoning the poor to a life without things like medical care and further education.

At least, that always seems to be the gist when people froth about the things we still spend money on that England & Wales don't.

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Just now, BFTD said:

I think the idea is that we're spendthrift, and we need to get with the programme of gradually abandoning the poor to a life without things like medical care and further education.

At least, that always seems to be the gist when people froth about the things we still spend money on that England & Wales don't.

Ah yes, the old "per head of population" thing. 

Scotland has 8% of the UK population and about a third of the land area. So "per head" we need more roads, more power lines, more infrastructure generally that needs maintained and upgraded. 

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Just now, scottsdad said:

I always thought this was a strange cause for the unionists. Basically they're saying that, within the UK, Scotland is running at a significant deficit. Surely this means that Scotland is not doing well within the union, and might perform better unshackled from the corpse of the the rUK?

This is how I see it aswell. With all of Scotland's resources we're in a terrible financial situation as part of the union. It's surely a reason to go independent rather than continue with a union that clearly isn't working for Scotland.

It's only fair on those south of the border as we don't them having us as a ahem, financial burden.

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2 hours ago, Jim McLean's Ghost said:

Can't believe Sturgeon has borrowed so much money.

She’s a b*****d, an absolute b*****d.  I bet she’s got loads hidden offshore.

She tried to borrow a fiver from me once outside Waverley Station, I told her to f**k off.

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4 hours ago, Scary Bear said:

£36 billion now. We’ll need to tighten our belts.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58256028

It's quite something that our "notional" deficit is now larger than the Scottish Parliaments entire budget. The parliament that is responsible for Transport, Health, Education and funding of 80odd percent of local authority budgets which cannot exceed the budget it is given.

I wonder how long the English will put up with subsidising us to this extent, we cost them more than the EU did!

 

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19 minutes ago, lichtgilphead said:

FTFY

I’m sure you’ll be correct about the status of the civil servants but why are the SG politicians not shouting from the rafters about it being nonsense?

Seem to recall in the good old days of oil surpluses they were quite happy to trumpet the numbers.

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3 hours ago, Dawson Park Boy said:

1) I’m sure you’ll be correct about the status of the civil servants but 2) why are the SG politicians not shouting from the rafters about it being nonsense?

3) Seem to recall in the good old days of oil surpluses they were quite happy to trumpet the numbers.

1) I know I'm correct. I don't post unsubstantiated nonsense. 

2) The reason that the SG politicians do not say that the figures are nonsense is because they are not nonsense. They provide a (significantly limited & often estimated) snapshot of our finances within the UK's current structure. However, our current position within that structure is that of a region of the UK which holds partially devolved powers over some aspects of tax and spending.

In essence, GERS demonstrates that the UK Government policies are failing Scotland, plus most other "regions" of the UK, which also run at a loss. Unfortunately, this point is usually lost in the Unionist "look at the big numbers" frenzy

However, as a predicator of how those finances will look when Scotland becomes an independent country, this view becomes much less valid. Independence offers far too many changes and opportunities for it to be otherwise and even the absolute bare minimum necessary changes will bring with them significant financial impact even before much in the way of policy change occurs.

The SG make this point every year. Indeed, today's Fraser of Allander Institute analysis specifically states:

"...it is important to read the next two paragraphs together!

GERS takes the current structure of UK Government reserved taxation and spending as given. If the very purpose of independence is to take different choices (good or bad) about the type of economy and society that we live in, then a set of accounts based upon the current constitutional settlement and policy priorities will look different to the long-term finances of an independent Scotland.

Having said that, GERS does provide an accurate picture of where Scotland is in 2021. So, in doing so, today’s numbers set the starting point for a discussion about the choices and challenges that need to be addressed by those advocating independence or new fiscal arrangements. It is not enough to say ‘everything will be fine’ or ‘look at this country, they can run a sensible fiscal balance so why can’t Scotland?’. Concrete proposals and ideas are needed."

Conversely, Unionists should also be willing to use the figures as a starting point to demonstrate how they intend to improve this deficit, which has been built up during the time that they have controlled most (or at times all) of the available financial levers. 

Instead, they just trumpet "too wee, too poor, too stupid" on Gers day every year. Hopefully they continue to do so until Independence.

3) In the "good old days of oil surpluses" (when the figures were produced by the Scottish Office), they produced figures with and without the oil money. As far as I recall, Scotland never showed a surplus under these figures if the oil money was disregarded.

Guess which figures the UK press preferred to use?

 

 

Edited by lichtgilphead
Edited to add link to quoted source
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24 minutes ago, lichtgilphead said:

1) I know I'm correct. I don't post unsubstantiated nonsense. 

2) The reason that the SG politicians do not say that the figures are nonsense is because they are not nonsense. They provide a (significantly limited & often estimated) snapshot of our finances within the UK's current structure. However, our current position within that structure is that of a region of the UK which holds partially devolved powers over some aspects of tax and spending.

In essence, GERS demonstrates that the UK Government policies are failing Scotland, plus most other "regions" of the UK, which also run at a loss. Unfortunately, this point is usually lost in the Unionist "look at the big numbers" frenzy

However, as a predicator of how those finances will look when Scotland becomes an independent country, this view becomes much less valid. Independence offers far too many changes and opportunities for it to be otherwise and even the absolute bare minimum necessary changes will bring with them significant financial impact even before much in the way of policy change occurs.

The SG make this point every year. Indeed, today's Fraser of Allander Institute analysis specifically states:

"...it is important to read the next two paragraphs together!

GERS takes the current structure of UK Government reserved taxation and spending as given. If the very purpose of independence is to take different choices (good or bad) about the type of economy and society that we live in, then a set of accounts based upon the current constitutional settlement and policy priorities will look different to the long-term finances of an independent Scotland.

Having said that, GERS does provide an accurate picture of where Scotland is in 2021. So, in doing so, today’s numbers set the starting point for a discussion about the choices and challenges that need to be addressed by those advocating independence or new fiscal arrangements. It is not enough to say ‘everything will be fine’ or ‘look at this country, they can run a sensible fiscal balance so why can’t Scotland?’. Concrete proposals and ideas are needed."

Conversely, Unionists should also be willing to use the figures as a starting point to demonstrate how they intend to improve this deficit, which has been built up during the time that they have controlled most (or at times all) of the available financial levers. 

Instead, they just trumpet "too wee, too poor, too stupid" on Gers day every year. Hopefully they continue to do so until Independence.

3) In the "good old days of oil surpluses" (when the figures were produced by the Scottish Office), they produced figures with and without the oil money. As far as I recall, Scotland never showed a surplus under these figures if the oil money was disregarded.

Guess which figures the UK press preferred to use?

 

 

I get what you’re saying but what the SG needs to do is put out a detailed scenario of just how different their policies will be vis a vis the UK. On those current figures, which are obviously dreadful because of Covid, our deficit as a percentage of GDP is about double of that of the UK. Enormous!!

Obviously, you can chop out some defence spending, foreign affairs, you name it, but to change policy so much to attain massive savings is stretching things. Bear in mind we have a small number of high earners which will limit the tax take and the current SG has always espoused high public spending which it gets via largesse from London and the South East as do  the other regions of the UK.

I don’t disagree with what you are saying but what are the massive policy changes which will bring about such a great improvement in our fortunes?

You and your adherents need to spell this out to the Scottish public.

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36 minutes ago, lichtgilphead said:

 

3) In the "good old days of oil surpluses" (when the figures were produced by the Scottish Office), they produced figures with and without the oil money. As far as I recall, Scotland never showed a surplus under these figures if the oil money was disregarded.

Guess which figures the UK press preferred to use?

 

 

They even had the North Sea classified as a region to separate it from Scotland.

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42 minutes ago, Dawson Park Boy said:

I get what you’re saying but what the SG needs to do is put out a detailed scenario of just how different their policies will be vis a vis the UK. On those current figures, which are obviously dreadful because of Covid, our deficit as a percentage of GDP is about double of that of the UK. Enormous!!

Obviously, you can chop out some defence spending, foreign affairs, you name it, but to change policy so much to attain massive savings is stretching things. Bear in mind we have a small number of high earners which will limit the tax take and the current SG has always espoused high public spending which it gets via largesse from London and the South East as do  the other regions of the UK.

I don’t disagree with what you are saying but what are the massive policy changes which will bring about such a great improvement in our fortunes?

You and your adherents need to spell this out to the Scottish public.

Can’t we just plaster fantasy figures on the side of a bus to have you queuing up to vote “Yes”?

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52 minutes ago, Dawson Park Boy said:

I get what you’re saying but what the SG needs to do is put out a detailed scenario of just how different their policies will be vis a vis the UK. On those current figures, which are obviously dreadful because of Covid, our deficit as a percentage of GDP is about double of that of the UK. Enormous!!

I note that your response completely ignores my point about the current situation completely failing Scotland (plus most other UK "regions"). Why don't you appear to want clarity from the UK Government?

You appear to accept the "Daily Mail" mindset that Brexit will be great because of Blue Passports & bendy bananas, because that seems to chime with your apparent mindset, yet you demand accounts costed to the nearest penny for something that you don't believe in. Ever heard of confirmation bias?

Quite simply, many of the figures used to produce GERS are estimates, produced by the UK Government & provided to the statisticians. These figures are often (still) based on crude population share. However, as they are official Government figures, it is difficult to refute them without access to the data.

As one simple example, much of the defence spending attributed to Scotland is spent elsewhere. As a result, the resultant multiplier effects of this spending also accrue elsewhere. This decreases Scottish tax take, and increases rUK tax take, while the "Scottish" spending goes up & up

As Kate Forbes has pointed out today, 72% of revenue is reserved and 40% of spending is reserved to the UK Government. They could provide figures, but instead choose to give estimates. Previous commentators on GERS have noted that "bad" figures for the Scottish Government are often accurately costed, whilst "good" figures for the Scottish Government are given as estimates. Don't you consider this to be just a little bit suspicious?

However, if you're happy for the UK to have the highest deficit in Europe & are willing to accept estimates in place of actual real life figures, then fill your boots - However, I would suggest that you are asking the wrong government for "a detailed scenario"

 

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