He just never does think through his arguments, does he?
And then in very many parts of GERS Scotland is simply attributed with a part of total UK spending. In many cases, however, such as defence, foreign affairs, and quite possibly many other policy areas where this attribution arises, Scottish public pinion clearly indicates that if it had the chance Scotland would make very different spending decisions to those for which it is currently charged. GERS, however, does not allow for that: as the Fraser of Allender Institute have acknowledged, GERS assumes Scotland is a mini-part of the U.K. and no compensation for its higher levels of spending in some areas is reflected in other costs apportioned from the rest of the U.K., meaning that the supposed Scottish deficit may be seriously overstated as a result. It is also possible that the tax revenue generated by the spend outside Scotland deemed in GERS to be for Scottish benefit should also be, but is not, credited to the GERS revenue account. If that’s the case then there is a serious accounting flaw in the whole GERS process that undermines all the data it supplies.
Scotland might well make different spending decisions. Sure, it might well. That’s actually the point which is being made, that given the deficit Scotland will have to make different spending decisions.
The second argument is that there’s a multiplier to government spending. Hmm, well, OK, arguendo. Snippa says that some of that extra tax received as a function of spending isn’t being attributed to Scottish revenues.
At which point we can do a simple little test. OK, there is a multiplier, spending in Scotland per head is higher than r-UK. Therefore we are already including in Scottish figures the revenue from that spending being financed by the r-UK. Which will disappear on exit from the UK of course.
So, which is larger? The revenues from spending we’re not attributing to Scottish revenue? Or that revenue from r-UK spending which we are? Given that spending per head is higher in Scotland then the second, no?
Snippa’s own argument shows that the deficit is larger than the current claim.