Thursday 25 August 2016

Scottish government runs £15bn budget deficit paid for by English taxpayers

Scotland's budget deficit has jumped to £15bn after North Sea oil revenues dropped 97%.

The SNP's economic plans all rest on Scotland investing tax revenues from North Sea oil but whilst just a couple of years ago the Scottish government could expect to lay claim to as much as £10bn in revenues, it fell to just £60m last year thanks to a crash in oil prices and a slow down in production.

Luckily for Nicola Sturgeon she doesn't have to worry about inconvenient things like budget deficits because Scotland's heavily inflated share of public spending isn't linked to the amount of tax they raise. Scotland is guaranteed a subsidy every year under the Barnett Formula which is currently a 16% premium on the UK average. This is a little misleading though because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all receive more money than they pay in to the Treasury which bumps up the average. The Scottish subsidy is a 19% premium on average spending in England and a whopping 28% premium on public spending in the east of England euroregion which is the poorest funded part of the UK.