The Sage³ on GERS

In the final column I compare the allocated share to Scotland with the anticipated 8.1% share and state the difference as a percentage of that 8.1% share. And then some really odd facts come out. For example, why has Scotland got a disproportionately large share of interest payments, picking up almost 15% too much?

And why are common services so heavily, apparently, biased to Scotland?

Even accounting adjustments are over-apportioned to Scotland.

If these areas – which are likely to be simple apportionments – are overstated how reliable is the rest of the UK spend apportionment?

Someone really, really, needs to tell the P³ about the Barnett Formula. It is agreed that the Scottish population is more spread out – and so more expensive to serve, poorer, iller, than the avreage for the UK as a whole. Therefore more needs to be spent per capita on provision of those common services. We work out how much more by using the Barnett Formula.

We can suggest that the iller etc isn’t true and therefore more central money per capita isn’t required. But once we have agreed that more per capita is required then it’s not exactly a mystery as to why we register that more per capita is spent, is it?


It’s actually built into the system that spending per head in Scotland is higher. So he’s wondering why spending per head is accounted as being higher in Scotland.

3 thoughts on “The Sage³ on GERS”

  1. Scotland has got a higher share of interest payments because for the whole of his lifetime, central government spending in Scotland has been significantly higher than central government tax receipts from Scotland (even including North Sea Oil and alcohol duty on whisky), so more of the debt is Scotland’s.
    Cost of common services in Scotland are higher due to the Barnett formula, making permanent what *should have been* a temporary subsidy from (mostly Conservative) England to (mostly Labour-voting) Scotland.

  2. Some time later I looked up GERS: it seems that Central Government spending in Scotland is 57% greater than Central government tax receipts from Scotland. *Even if* Murphy’s claim about interest was correct, that is a trivial amount in comparison with a 57% overspend.

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