The SNP must drop their threat of a second independence referendum- or explain how they would fund a £13 billion black hole which was revealed today as the starting cost for a separate country.
According to Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures, which set out the annual state of the country’s finances, the current net fiscal deficit is £13.4 billion.
In addition, the level of higher public spending in Scotland compared to the UK average soared to a record difference of £1576 per head.
Today’s report showed a slight improvement in Scotland’s finances, with revenue increasing and the deficit falling, largely thanks to a small recovery in North Sea oil.
However, the finances of the rest of the UK are improving at a superior rate, meaning the gap between the two is widening.
As such, Scotland now raises eight per cent of UK total revenue, while receiving 9.3 per cent of spending.
Total spending per person in Scotland for 2017/18 was £1576 per head higher than the rest of the UK, compared to £1448 per head the previous year.
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Dean Lockhart MSP said:
‘’Today’s report has yet again made clear the value of the union dividend for every person in Scotland.
‘’By being part of the UK, Scotland received an extra £1,576 for every man, woman and child last year above the UK average. For a family of four, that’s more than £6,000 in additional public spending.
‘’If Scotland were to be ripped out of the UK, this spending would be slashed drastically, which would mean that our schools, hospitals and public services would be impacted heavily.
‘’The SNP may console themselves that Scotland’s finances improved slightly on the whole last year, however the UK’s have done even better, meaning the gap is now bigger.
“The SNP, which has had control of Scotland’s economy for more than a decade, has to take responsibility for that under-performance.
“It can’t blame Brexit and it can’t blame the UK Government – it is all on the shoulders of a nationalist government which has obsessed with the idea of independence above everything else.”