An oddity

I thought I’d got a little gotcha. Which depended upon Scottish median income being lower than UK median income. At least as far as I can find out this isn’t so. Scots median income is within a pound a week of UK.

Which surprises. Aren’t they a poorer country?

14 comments on “An oddity

  1. How much of that is driven by national pay scales for civil servants? Don’t those high wages drive up the cleaning wage for other employers?

  2. Is this because, outside London and the Home Counties, incomes typically aren’t that high?

    Median household disposable income in the UK was £28,400 in the financial year ending (FYE) 2018, based on estimates from our Living Costs and Food Survey.

  3. NB there’s also lots of disparities within Scotland, natch. A banker in Edinburgh or a professional footballer in Glasgow or a senior petroleum geologist in Aberdeen is going to have a very different income and lifestyle compared with a third-generation unemployed man in Easterhouse or a crofter in Wester Ross. There’s a surprising (to me) number of ugly McMansions worth £1m+ in central Scotland these days.

    There’s no 19th century style (or even early 20th c.) poverty anymore, thankfully, but plenty of areas are relatively deprived. Same goes for England and Wales of course. So I dunno how much use national medians are.

  4. ‘Median household disposable income in the UK was £28,400’

    “Disposable” after what? After tax, natch, but what else?

    ‘a third-generation unemployed man’

    There was a time when some people would have doubted he was worth calling a “man” if he were third generation unemployed (genuine hard luck stories aside). Would that have been unduly harsh of them?

  5. A snapshot possibly not representative of anything, but I’ve just come back from my first visit to Edinburgh in a couple of decades.
    Apart from the huge amount of rebuilding going on, I was particularly struck that in all the “free” to enter national museums and galleries I never once had to open anything larger than a toilet door. Each half-major door was opened by a dedicated uniformed employee. Quite nice, but hardly essential and certainly not evidence of tightened belts
    .
    (I was also struck by how many places didn’t have simple electronic payment. Bus fares were particularly annoying as anything other than season or day tickets had to be paid for in cash with no change given.)

  6. JS: No change given? Sounds like Edinburgh. I was glad to get out of the place.

  7. Median: so the lowest is either zero or the level where the social safety net provides a floor of sorts, the upper bound, as has been noted above, is not going to be that different between bankers in Edinburgh or London.

  8. “Aren’t they a poorer country?”
    Well, Yes in terms of GDP/head (what they *earn*) – that’s why England is subsidising Scotland by £billions a year through the Barnett formula, which means English taxpayers are subsidising Scottish public sector workers.
    But the subsidy increase the income (what they get *paid*0 of Scots, so reduces the income gap.
    On a technical point, the median income differs from the mean and a lot depends on how far above the median most of the higher incomes stand – if the median is £25k and England has a lot of people earning £40-50k while Scotland has a lot of people earning £30-40k then England will be richer despite the median being the same [if you include all the foreign billionnaires with London flats and overseas homes that will distort the mean income for England but only increase the median by a few pence]

  9. djc, that is precisely why we use medians for skewed data.

    Neither the destitute, so full of special brew they can’t even collect their dole, nor the loadsamoney investment wankers, fuck the median up as they do the mean.

    Some here need to come to my lectures on remedial statistics for medics who didn’t listen at school.

  10. Hasn’t the Scottish government decided to tax all their high earners into exile in Berwick-upon-Tweed? This would have a noticeable negative effect on the mean income and a negligible one on the median income.

  11. Not sure if Tim isn’t guilty in violating one of his own rules, here.
    “When assessing income differentials, one must take into account measures taken to reduce income differentials” or something.
    The Barnett Formula is one of those measures to reduce income differentials between Jockistan & the civilised part of the island. So you should expect the Barnett largess to work its way through into Jockish pockets. Which is why there isn’t much difference.

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