Pillar, post

No one can win in direct argument against someone capable of being quite so illogical: they will persist with their illogicality come what may.

True dat.

That the outcome is absurd is apparent. As I noted last August, it is simply impossible that X% of the UK national deficit is produced by Scotland. If an accounting system produces such a ludicrous claim then it safe to say that the accounting system is wrong.

Erm, why? Why is it impossible that one part of the nation produces less tax, consumes more tax funded spending, than another?

Note what he’s not just said, what the x% is. Nor’s Snippa telling us that the reporting systems just aren’t good enough to know. He’s insisting that some portion of the whole nation cannot, possibly, be in fiscal deficit.

We know this is possible for people. We know it’s possible for organisations. But apparently not for a geographical portion of the nation, even as it’s obviously that it can be when we portion in some other manner.

29 thoughts on “Pillar, post”

  1. If no individual part of the nation can possibly be in deficit (that is to say more public spending occurs within its boundaries than taxes arise from the same area) how exactly do we have a national budget deficit??

  2. The point may be that the measure isn’t useful. For instance – make up numbers – Scotland may produce 100% of the UK deficit, and Northern Ireland may also produce 100% of the UK deficit. However London produces a surplus equal to the UK deficit.
    So how meaningful is the 100% figure?

  3. “So how meaningful is the 100% figure?”

    Quite meaningful, in that if it was in balance (ie Scotland produced as much tax revenue as it consumed in public spending) then (all other things being equal) there would be no national deficit. So that tells us something quite important – namely that Scotland is a significant drag on the public finances.

    Obviously the same calculation can be done with any region, and then those figures compared to give the relative drain/contribution to the public finances. While this data is somewhat moot when the UK is planning to remain united, when a region starts considering independence it becomes pretty important, as in Scotland’s case.

  4. The claim would only be ludicrous if Scotland generated a revenue surplus as Alex “I’m innocent” Salmond claimed

  5. “As for Hague, a long time ago a very wise US lawyer advised me not to fight with those he described as ‘pigs’. You end up, he said, covered in shit and the pig enjoys it

    Hague is like Tim Worstall, a person who the world sees for what he is, and so ignores. I do the same.”

    That’s you telt Worstall

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    Slightly OT

    I see Long-Bailey’s started talking about “progressive nationalism” in Labour’s bid to pretend it is learning lessons from the GE defeat. I wonder how long it will take Spud to jump on the bandwagon or maybe even try a bit of one-upmanship and bring us “people’s nationalism” 🙂

  7. So he’s trying to ingratiate himself with the SNP again, by making a ludicrous claim that scotland can’t possibly be in budget deficit because potatoes…

    Meaning that the SNP can claim that Famous Economist Richard Murphy says that Scotland isn’t in deficit so FREEEEEEDOOOMMMMMM!!!!!

  8. Socialists starting to use ‘nationalism’ in their policy titles ?

    Given their record on Anti-Semitism, they really don’t do irony do they ?

  9. Dennis, CPA to the Gods

    So he’s trying to ingratiate himself with the SNP again, by making a ludicrous claim that scotland can’t possibly be in budget deficit because potatoes…


    And this isn’t the first time RM has claimed that the bad news about Scotland’s finances is solely due to defective accounting systems.

  10. This is quite entertaining:

    And, for the record, I have got rather used to being told I am wrong in almost everything I have done until it turns out I was right after all

    I suspect very strongly that will be the case here.

    I just find the over-estimation of his own capacity simply hilarious. Just an utter, utter moron – the online equivalent of a bedlam inmate.

  11. We have to face up to the limitations of accounting systems. Take the example of a company with HQ in London and its factory in Scunthorpe. (I know, I know — this is a hypothetical example).

    The company is profitable (hypothetical again!) and the HQ in London sends a big tax payment to Her Majesty. Does “regional” accounting show that London is contributing taxes while Scunthorpe is not?

  12. Nautical nick

    To quote Meatloaf

    ‘You took the words right out of my mouth’

    He really seems completely unable to function in an intellectually coherent manner. A drooling imbecile bereft of even the beginnings of knowledge.

  13. @BiND

    Wrong-Bailey has competition – girl fight

    Possible Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy asks voters why they backed the Tories


    Corbyn’s AntiFA Mob seek revenge
    Antisemitic graffiti painted on London shops and synagogue

    Talking of country by country reporting

    From Ausland
    Sydney’s New Year‘s Eve fireworks will go ahead – despite calls for it to be cancelled by XR, FoE, AGW/ACC Left miserabilists

    Hey, lets deport Gina Miller to Aus, she can wreak her havoc there until a shark/croc/spider eats her

  14. Alex “I’m innocent” Salmond
    Has he mentioned “the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British</strike Scottish fair play", yet?

  15. Alex “I’m innocent” Salmond
    Has he mentioned “the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British Scottish fair play”, yet?

  16. “Why is the HQ in London? Because it adds value for it to be there.”

    The HQ is in London because the Chairman’s wife insists on it. I suppose you could argue that the value added accrues to her as “utility”. Because so much of economics is just tautologies and Just So stories.

  17. “The HQ is in London because the Chairman’s wife insists on it.”

    While that may or may not have some validity (one actually suspects that the Chairman and his wife live in leafy Surrey or some other gentrified country area close to London) its far more likely that the HQ is in London because all the support services a HQ needs (accountancy/legal/finance/PR) are also in London. It makes no sense to a company trying to list on the Stock Market, or raise new capital (for examples) to have its HQ in Doncaster, and try to get all the London lawyers/accountants/money men to come up the M1 for meetings all the time. Far better to be London based so its a cab ride away.

  18. Jim — All very fair points. Nevertheless, in this hypothetical example, the Value Added is being created in Scunthorpe (since when did any HQ add value?) but the tax payment happens to have a London postmark. Just looking at where the tax payment comes from may give a very misleading impression about where the real beneficial economic activity is taking place. To echo the punch line of that old joke about the balloonist who lands in the middle of a field and asks a passing man where he was — ‘You must be an accountant. Your response is completely accurate and totally useless’.

  19. If Boris has the good sense to give Scotland another referendum and Murphy persuades enough jocks that Scotland can go it alone to the extent that they vote for independence, I, for one, will be most grateful to him.

  20. Where companies are concerned, where the HQ is is irrelevant to HMRC as they will be writing to the Registered Office. That might be the factory, might be an HQ, might be the director’s home address but more probably is going to be the accountant’s office.

  21. When I was working for PwC they had an office at No. 1 London Bridge.

    Lots of companies liked that as their RO. It’s the RO that goes on company correspondence.

  22. There is another issue here. Corporate profits are perhaps 5% of the economy. The regional differences in GVA (the sub national equivalent of GDP_ are vastly larger than that. Thus corporate profits being misallocated aren’t the cause.

    The capital share as a whole, before depreciation, is perhaps 20%, after depreciation maybe 10%. So it’s not that either.

  23. If Blojo gives another Scottish Indyref then independence will be turned down again–despite a likely much higher level of SNP violence and attempted intimidation.

    The SNP boost came from Labour’s even greater collapse up there not because the Fish Faced Hag Sturge is doing a good job. Every charge the Andrew Neill Loch-Ness-Monster-depth-charging of an interview laid on her gang is true in spades. But a Scots protest vote goes further left –which is why the SNP exists at all. Scotland’s perverse love of socialism will be its death if Scots do not wise up soon.

    As for the Ref –any Scot with two working brain cells can see that Wee Krankie plans to do to Scotland what Vardarse has lined up for Ireland under “Ireland 2040” –ie the abolition of the nation and its transformation into a 3rd world maj shithole under brazen eco-tyranny.

  24. Hague is like Tim Worstall, a person who the world sees for what he is, and so ignores. I do the same.

    Hilarious mis-type – he meant “I am the same” instead.

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