Falkirk District Denied Access to £240 million
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 22:54
According to statistics released today from Westminster, Scotland would have been better off by £1,600 for every man woman and child over the past five years. The 2012-13 Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report, which estimates levels of tax and spending in Scotland, demonstrates that, including a geographical share of North Sea oil and gas, tax revenues in Scotland were £800 higher per head compared to the UK in 2012-13.
Throughout the recession Scotland’s finances have been stronger than the rest of the UK. Income from tax was £800 higher per head of population in Scotland than the rest of the UK providing a double bonus, more income and less deficit than the rest of the UK. This would have been a huge financial bonus for everyone.
Speaking on the figures Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald said:
“In Falkirk district this £1,600 would represent over £240 million extra. Imagine what we could do the length and breadth of this district if we had access to our own money.
“Here we have more figures from Westminster showing that the finances in Scotland are far better than the rest of the UK. This has been the case for the past thirty years but Scotland does not get the benefit.
“In addition, yesterday it was revealed that an independent Scotland would be the 14th wealthiest country in the OECD – compared to the UK’s ranking of 18th. With the Scottish Government investing as much as we can in the face of Westminster cuts on the infrastructure projects that are so important to Scotland’s future - we have invested in roads and railways, hospitals and housing – all of which are to the long-term benefit of people in Scotland. In contrast Westminster has slashed its capital spending.
“The infrastructure investments we are making in Scotland’s future are about ensuring that this success continues for many years to come.
“With a healthy bank balance like this we could do so much more if we didn’t send this money down to Westminster. Remove the nuclear weapons too and we could save another £14 million every month to invest in jobs and our health service.
“These latest figures also show that over the last five years, even during the deepest economic downturn since the 1930s, Scotland’s finances have been relatively healthier than the UK’s to the tune of £8.3 billion (or nearly £1,600 per person in Scotland) – and the figures also show that Scotland has now generated more tax per head than the UK as a whole for every single one of the last 33 years.
“If anyone wanted to know why the Tories and Labour want to keep hold of us here is the proof in black and white. It is to subsidise the rest of the UK.
“It is time to stand up and take charge of our finances and distribute them to the people who have created this wealth - the people in Scotland themselves.’
The latest figures on Scotland’s finances published today have been described as a “tale of two governments”, which have demonstrated the priority Scotland has given to long-term investment in infrastructure.
The newly published GERS figures for 2012-13 show that even after a 41.5% fall in North Sea tax revenues as a result of the industry attracting tax relief as it invested record amounts in improving future production, Scotland’s current budget balance as a percentage of GDP was just 0.1% below that of the UK. This means that the difference in the overall figures was the result of capital spending – an area that the Scottish Government has consistently given greater priority to than the Westminster Government.
The 2012-13 Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report also shows that over the last five years Scotland generated 9.5% of UK revenues and received 9.3% of UK spending. In addition, over the last five years Scotland’s finances have been relatively healthier than the UK’s to the tune of £8.3 billion or nearly £1,600 per person in Scotland.