GERS figures are good news for Scotland

In case you missed it, the latest Government Expenditure Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures were released last week.  The report, the authoritative account of Scotland’s public finances, concluded that Scotland ran a near £15bn deficit for 2014/15, equivalent to 9.7% of our GDP. The results have met with a variety of responses from all political outlooks but … More GERS figures are good news for Scotland

“The oil crash is good for the overall economy” and Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s deficit deception

In the run up to the independence referendum of Sept 2014, Scottish voters were repeatedly told “oil is just a bonus” and our public finances were not reliant on such a volatile and uncertain resource. To prove this, the SNP’s White Paper produced a fantasist forecast of oil revenues at up to £7.9bn.  Because basing … More “The oil crash is good for the overall economy” and Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s deficit deception

GERS – reserved and non-identifiable spending

The Government Expenditure Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures, the authoritative account of Scotland’s public finances, are due out this week and most people expect them to be pretty bad news for supporters of Scottish independence. The ‘union dividend’ to Scotland looks set to increase and, most importantly for people like me who live in Scotland, public expenditure … More GERS – reserved and non-identifiable spending

Fact-checking SNP Nairn’s paper – Part 2

Following on from EVEL, NHS spending and Barnett consequentials in Part 1, the second installment of fact-checking SNP Nairn’s misleading electoral leaflet deals with the deficit, the Scottish budget and TTIP. Let’s start with this graphic: I have no real problem with the bottom half of the graphic – that there is too much focus on benefit fraud when … More Fact-checking SNP Nairn’s paper – Part 2

Scottish Government health spending

A few months ago, Audit Scotland released a report on the funding of NHS Scotland which rightly received significant press coverage.  The headline finding was the SNP are reducing the health budget in real terms by 0.9% between 2013/14 and 2015/16. Understandably, opposition parties tried to make as much as they could of this revelation, highlighting the … More Scottish Government health spending

The impact of low oil revenues according to John Swinney

With the SNP’s delayed budget to be announced tomorrow, John Swinney has been getting the excuses in nice and early.  As reported by the BBC over the weekend, Mr Swinney warns of “tough choices ahead” for Scotland, laying the blame for this firmly at the door of the Westminster government. The rhetoric is the same as … More The impact of low oil revenues according to John Swinney

Police Scotland, overspending and VAT – UPDATED

There’s been a bit of a furore this week about funding for Police Scotland.  First an SNP amendment to the Finance Bill which would have exempted Scotland’s centralised emergency services from VAT was defeated in the Commons; then the following day the Police Scotland finance report was released which gave details of a projected £25m … More Police Scotland, overspending and VAT – UPDATED