|What it says|
Time to tap out a few thoughts.
"Official Scottish government statistics showed the country spent £14.8bn more than it raised in taxes in 2015/16, including a share of North Sea revenue.
That figure represented a 9.5% share of GDP, the report said - more than double the 4% figure for the UK as a whole."
OK, this clearly isn't good news in anyone's book. Our economy simply isn't generating anything like enough money to pay for its essential outgoings. Why Scotland is worse than the overall UK isn't hard to work out - it's a small country with a disproportionately huge area of multiple deprivation (the old industrial areas in west central Scotland) whereas overall in the UK those areas (I'll include Tyneside, Merseyside and South Wales) are of far lesser significance.
So that's a challenge to the independence project, surely? We won't be able to pay our old folks pensions? Fund our NHS? After all, we're on our own 18 months after the referendum.
But no ... not a bit of it!
Rather than address this seriously, it seems that to many independence supporters, the only way forward is to rubbish GERS. (Obviously if they were flawed the Scottish Govt's Chief Statistician would fairly be getting hauled over the coals by Swinney et al. But he's not. And they're not.)
So we have nonsense about whisky export duty, exports though English ports, HS2 and crossrail, and then of course you can throw in Trident (that's right 7% of 7% of the overall budget), there are oilfields apparently somewhere that nobody knows.. blah blah..
But of course all these are indeed nonsense (the finest rebuttals found here) and as we've previously noted, I doubt Swinney would be quiet if there was obvious claptrap therein. So the true zoomer has to have a backstop. Step forward... Ian Lang MP (remember him? I do!). He set this government spending statistical stuff up when he was the Scottish Secretary. He was a Tory! He only set it up to make us look bad, the bastard. OK, it may be true, but that's neither here nor there....
|Wings fingers Lang|