Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scotland better off leaving bankrupt Britain

Published during my tenure as Chief Editor of the former title Newsnet Scotland. I intend to publish under the title Scottish Times in due course.

Despite a huge drop in North Sea oil prices in the year 2009-2010 an independent Scotland would have been better off economically being outside the UK according to newly released Government figures.

Commenting on the new GERS (Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland) figures released today one of Scotland's leading investment bankers Ben Thomson, chairman of the Campaign for Fiscal Responsibility, said: "The latest GERS figures show that Scotland’s budget position in 2009/10 was better than for the UK as a whole.

"As a percentage of GDP, both Scotland’s net fiscal balance (-10.6% compared to the UK’s -11.1%) compare favourably with the UK as a whole." (See chart)

"This is despite the drop in Scotland’s geographic share of North Sea revenues for 2009/10 from £11.7 billion to £5.9 billion which has resulted in a deterioration in Scotland’s budget position.

Debt to GDP ratio based on GERS

"It is also worth pointing out that this will also have improved considerably since 2009/10, the year covered by GERS.

"The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), in its 2011 Budget Report, estimated that North Sea revenues would average £13.4 billion over the next five years of which Scotland’s geographic share would be £12.2 billion.

"This is more than double the revenue levels in 2009/10 and would bring Scotland’s net fiscal position close to balance."

Compared to current UK debt

Against a backdrop of out-of-control UK debt it is clear that Scottish families, institutions and businesses would benefit significantly from independence. This year UK public sector net borrowing for April and May totals £27.4bn which is £1.5bn more than the same period in 2010 according to the official ONS (Office of National Statistics) report. 
UK consumer confidence

According to YouGov's Household Economic Activity Tracker (HEAT) UK consumers remain extremely negative (-26 points) about the next 12 months ahead. This compares woefully to China which has a positive (+42 points) rating making the difference in consumer outlook between the two economies a 68 point gap.

Newsnet Scotland Comment
With oil revenues much higher in the last year it is clear that being released from its share of UK fiscal debt an independent Scotland would be in the position to increase the standard of living of all Scottish citizens.

Yes, as Unionist commentators like to point out an independent Scotland would have carried debt in this single year but as can be seen it would be less debt than it must carry as part of the UK.

news scotland


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