Economics of Independence

New figures confirm that Scotland would have been £8.3 billion better off as an independent country

Written by Michael Gray

Scotland's strong fiscal positionOver the past 5 years Scotland’s would have been £8.3 billion better off as an independent country, when taking account of the new report published into Scotland’s finances today.

The new report also demonstrates that Scotland generated £800 more in tax per person than the UK average during the last financial year. Scotland’s spending was also lower than the UK average over the past 5 years. Scotland’s spending was 44.2% of GDP over the last 5 years. The UK average was 45.4%.

Spending on social security last year was also lower in Scotland than the UK average. In Scotland it was 15.5% of GDP compared to 16% for the UK.

The front page of The Herald today reports that Scotland’s economy is 11% better off in terms of GDP per capita than the UK.

The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland Report continues 33 years of strong performances by the Scottish economy. Had Scotland been an independent country, it would currently have a net cash surplus of over £50 billion and no public debt.

Scotland’s economic position, relative to the UK finances, would have been £8.3 billion better off in the past 5 years alone. Scotland is clearly a wealthy nation with the resources to be a successful independent country.

Scotland is one of the world’s wealthiest countries

This means that an independent Scotland will be one of the world’s wealthiest countries.

Scotland’s economic strength is built upon a diverse economy, a skilled workforce, vast natural resources, strong exports and increases in inward investment.

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Independence can make Scotland better off

However, without the full economic powers of independence Scotland cannot grow its economy, support domestic businesses or improve its economic competitiveness.

Control over issues like taxation, employment, immigration, exports, and industrial policy provides many opportunities to improve these areas.

The extra £8.3 billion over the past 5 years would have allowed a Scottish Government to increase investment, reduce tax for key growth sectors and reduce overall government debt.

In contrast, Westminster has created a crisis in public finances with total debts of £1.3 trillion.

Westminster costs included in figures

Despite the strength of these figures, they still contain a number of substantial ‘Westminster costs’ which are placed on Scotland.

Scotland had to pay £4.02 billion in debt interest last year to Westminster. This is despite the fact that Westminster ran up this substantial debt. As a report by the Reid Foundation and the Fiscal Commission confirmed, an independent Scotland would not have needed this debt. This has cost Scotland £68.12 billion.

The Scottish figures also include service charges for spending outside of Scotland. This includes substantial costs for military services and nuclear weapons. Scotland also pays for the large civil service bureaucracy based in London. Scotland has paid £15.8 billion for military costs over the past 5 years, which will have been increased by the war in Iraq.

Scotland also has to contribute to the UK’s £3.5 billion tax administration costs,  £1.5 billion border control costs and hundreds of millions in Westminster expenses. Through efficiencies and common sense, an independent Scotland can save money in these areas and improve the economy. This will provide a large independence dividend.


Growing business support for an independence is based on the knowledge that an independent Scotland will prioritise the interests of business in Scotland. This means that public policy will benefit distinct growth areas and allow Scotland to promote goods and services across the world.

Join Business for Scotland – Sign our business declaration

About the author

Michael Gray

Michael is Head of Research with Business for Scotland.

A graduate from the University of Glasgow, he has carried out a series of interviews with academics, politicians and the public in Denmark, Iceland and Ireland. Michael's on twitter @GrayInGlasgow.


    • £8.3bn over 5years?!!!
      How about the £5bn as our 8.4% ‘population share’ of interest paid against the UK national debt last year.
      A debt that devolved Scotland had no hand in running up.
      Or the £9.4bn we get to contribute to UK strategic national projects like London Thameslink1&2, London Crossrail 1&2, London HS1&2 etc etc none of which derive any benefit to Scotland, but Scottish strategic national projects have to be funded through Holyrood’s block grant.
      We could also look at our contributions to the defence of the realm that do not appear to include Scotland.

      Maybe we could even get a sniff of the £44bn a year in ‘downstream revenues’ collected by the Treasury on that worthless Brent Crude, that costs us to have, piped directly through Scotland to the big English refineries to be ‘value added’ there if we can take UKPIA statistical reports as written.

      • This could be spent on 8 more utterly useless tram systems , good decisions need to be made by qualified people not jumped up numpties

  • Someone explain it to me I see the revenue from tax and oil combined as a smaller figure than the public expenditure figure. So how can an independent Scotland be in the black? Does the tax revenue include tax from public sector workers? If so shouldn’t it be excluded from the figure or adjusted? I believe this independence issue is a mathematical/economic one nothing more for me and most people. I don’t seem to be seeing the same as what you are all seeing in these figures. Someone explain.

    • Yes of course Scotland has only one income stream hasn’t it Christopher?
      That would be North Sea oil.
      Do you ever wonder what else we do in Scotland, apart from running around in kilts eating haggis and tossing cabers about the place?

  • I would just like to point out that the two chancellors during the last Labour government (i.e. the last government that Scotland voted for) were both Scottish. Westminster and Scotland are not mutually exclusive and Scottish politicians are highly culpable for the current UK debt level. Secondly, Scotland’s economic performance in this article was achieved as part of the UK, that is the only factual deduction that can be made. The suggestion that Scotland would therefore have performed just as well if not better had it been independent during that period is a highly questionable assumption. For starters, the most positive impact, economically speaking, that any government has had on the UK was during the Thatcher era. The Scots I am pretty sure would have voted for a socialist government during this period which would had a hugely detrimental impact on the prosperity of the nation in purely economic terms.

    • You must also agree that if Scotland had been an independent nation then they may well not have voted for a socialist Government. The support for socialism in Scotland is predicated largely in areas with higher levels of poverty and those conditions may or may not have existed in an independent Scotland. there are also cases of many far more socialist governments that Labour in the uk that have driven economic growth and shared prosperity in a far more sustainably way than Thatchers neoclassical market approach. The Scandinavian countries for example or Singapore for example with massive state ownership of leading business. To assume that Scotland would not have performed equal as well as an independent country as it did within the Uk is itself highly questionable. That Scotland underperformed all comparable smaller European nations during eh last 30 year period by around 30% in GDP growth suggests that being part of the UK has not provided any significant benefit V independence.

      Pointing out that the last two labour chancellors were Scottish is moot as they were unionists and London centric I have never argued Scottish V English just localism V centralised Westminster economics. I have always argued Scotland should take a fair share of the debt but only if they get a fair share of the assets and that includes Sterling.

      • I seem to remember that when asked, the majority of Scottish voters were also unionists it turned out.

        Is there going to be be a referendum until the separatists get their own way, or is there a thing called democracy still functioning north of the border?

        • If the majority of people decide they want independence then is it not democratic to to allow them another referendum – are we going to cancel all future general elections because the Conservative party have won a majority or will we allow people to vote again in the future? Your comment demonstrates that it is you that wishes to deny the democratic process on a topic where no one believes the 2014 vote was decisive except those that are beginning to realise that the one chance to stop the independence movement has failed and that it is now inevitable.

          • Except an election and a referendum are not the same thing. An election is where we choose our elected representatives for the next four years, whereas a referendum is used to settle a particular matter (in this case a constitutional one) for the foreseeable future. Elections are supposed to happen regularly, referendums are not. So Richard’s argument still stands.

          • Really where is it written that referendums are not supposed to happen regularly? They don’t but are becoming far more common and one could argue that in the future there will be regular referendums maybe even a few a year of key issues. Would that not be more democratic or more engaging – maybe, maybe not but five year terms between votes is an old fashioned idea maybe we should ask if its time has gone.

            I believe that if there is a significant change to the circumstances that led to the NO vote (such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will) then the result which was party predicated on a NO vote guaranteeing EU membership is up for question and if enough Scots want a referendum again then they should have one.

          • You must feel somewhat silly now, considering scotland’s oil slump and rising deficit. Never mind if we were independent that the EU would not allow us entry due to the deficit, never mind the hypocrisy that you eant a second referendum on the basis of brexit and potentially leaving the trading market so you desire to throw your toys out the pram and leave our biggest trade union i.e england, never mind the fact that if there is a 2nd referendum soon then the nationalists will lose effectively killing of the scottish nazi party sorry national party ( the anti english sentiment is bigotry at its worst), never mind that if you remove the ned vote from the snp then they command nowhere near a majority, never mind reality. If yes had won last time we would be bankrupt. Our economy would have crashed. Thats what happens when you take only the top most optomistic figures from hypothetical reviews into oil revenue and decide without consultation where the demarcation line would be and then put that into a gers report that you then quote in a government white paper and purport as fact. Utterly disgraceful. I wonder how many actually researches the facts. There is no magic wand if we gain independence no blank cheque. The poor will get poorer stop lying to them as if it is all westminsters fault. It is not. Capitalism works on a hierarchical class system. Society needs tiered in capitalist doctrines. That is the essence of it and globalisation. Ironically and hypocritically these are the things quasi liberals are propping up. The binary votesof recent show that the silent majority do not agree and tire of the vocal minority and their obtuse dogmatic views. I mean come on we have a government that is promoting gaeluc in schools but has no funding or programme for computer science. One word guys…strategy.

        • Lol the seperatists DID get their way.. with brexit…

          Hey though, any unionists argument is “it was a no vote”… and thatvis about it.

        • I think you’ll find ma man that a majority of Scottish voters did vote for independence. 53% YES as it happens 😉

          Overall voters in Scotland though, well, thats another set of figures altogether. You shod really check before posting debunked palava 🙂

    • The ‘positive impact’ you speak of was primarily based on the massive influx of money during thatchers era coming from Scottish North Sea oil

  • ive read most comments on this post “and no doubt there is not alot of actual scottish people commenting only negative minded english people “if they know so much on what would change for scotland “why not become a polatition ” otherwise stick to what they are good at utter negative points of view “especially if they actually are not scottish “after all me being a sottish person and love my nation “i speak for many “we are sick of beig dictated to and on the note of another referendum ” my guess is only time will tell “i hope to see the day we get our much deserved independance and break away from tyranny and the westminester corrupt goverment

  • What Scotland needs is it old Royal family back.
    STEP 1.
    Invade England, remove the German Royal family.

    STEP 2.
    Give England back to the English, who will then vote for a President and run the country like they do in the USA.

    STEP 3.
    Get out of the EU completely, send home all foreign workers and turn these two countries, (divided by a common language) into a global enterprise,retaining its own talent, instead of losing them by the thousands, to other countries who are run correctly, are profitable, have little or no unemployment and have the best health care systems on the planet…

    I am available for coronation in November…. !!

  • I think we should have another independence referendum. This time we should let the English vote also, it would be a landslide vote for independence with their help.

  • This is completely speculative retrospective rubbish . It doesn’t ” prove” anything like what currency , international borrowing rates or how many businesses would leave .
    The fact is that there will not be another referendum as Weatminster will not allow it . Scotlands promised second oil boom has failed to materialise . FFR would leave us short . End of argument .

    • As is the fact that when Tony Blair tried to stop the People of Scotland gaining a Devolved Parliament , the Council of Europe told Blair he had not right to stop the Sovereign will of the People ….By the same token ,if we the people want another Indy/Ref , no UK Government can stop us ..As long as the majority of the membership of the SNP want it on their manifesto for the 2016 Scottish Elections and in said elections , no Government UK or otherwise can stop us ..

      Westminster are in a delicate position at present where we in Scotland are concerned , apart from having only 1 MP each ..More of these austerity cuts are to be announced on Wednesday , this will outrage even more Scottish People if we are not already there now …

      You talk about businesses would have left if Scotland had gained Independence …What rot , this as all scaremongering and political bluster …Just look at the big banks now , where the EU Referendum is concerned , they are instigating the very same attitude again , They are saying they will leave the UK if we come out of the EU …..More scaremongering and bluster ,are we meant to believe this crap again …

      As for the Oil Boom ..Oil to Scotland has and is a huge bonus to us , but it’s not the be all and end all , Scottish Oil has been keeping the English Economy afloat for nye on 35 to 40 years ..But in saying this , we have many more diverse industries that through these we can without question not only survive , but our economy will grow and our industries will flurish ..I am only assuming that you voted NO , if you did not then I stand corrected , but if I am right , then you do nothing to provide a positiveness towards Scotland , whether it be our economy or anything else …People like yourself will say anything to stop progress or try to give people some kind of hope for the future …As with your final words , this to me says it all..Quote = FFR would leave us short , End of argument …Every country has a shortfall to some degree , it come with the territory ..Even you must know that .It’s how you handle this is what matters ..For Scotland to have FFR or FFA , would give us all we need to take care of our own fiscal policies , but as you andI both know this will not be happening as this Tory Government won’t want to lose ALL it’s Scottish Tax Revenues this include our Oil and Gas ..No more billions to the Westminster Coffers , the only money it would get is a percentage from us for Defence and Foreign Affairs .We both know that would never do ..The Treasury missing out on all our taxes …NO WAY ..As for currency , as we would still be part of the UK as in a Devolved Scotland with FFA and NOT total Independence , we would still be entitled to use the Pound Sterling ..

      I personally do not fear FFA,FFR, Devo-Max or Home Rule nor what I really want Full Independence ,as i strongly believe in the people of my homeland and what they can and would be able to achieve ..This is called having great faith in Scotland ..I think positively ,not in the negative as you seem to be doing . You are maybe one of these people who do nothing but decry and talk in a negative way ..You would probably even let us go on being subjugated by Westminster for all time no matter how much financial pain they inflicted on us in Scotland . But we in the YES movement and SNP will do all in our power to stop this Tory lot …Proud to be Scottish and proud to want and Full Independence .

      • “I personally do not fear FFA,FFR, Devo-Max or Home Rule nor what I really want Full Independence ,as i strongly believe in the people of my homeland and what they can and would be able to achieve ..This is called having great faith in Scotland” And therein lies the problem. You can’t run a country on faith.

        “I think positively ,not in the negative as you seem to be doing . You are maybe one of these people who do nothing but decry and talk in a negative way” Yes, it’s called “scepticism” and “critical thinking”.

        Also, you talk about oil and currency and the like and say everything will be all right – how do you know?

        • You can’t run a country if you do not have faith in it – the reason Scotland is underperforming is because we don’t have faith in ourselves. How do you know that the UK economy will be alright and not drag us down within it a few years with another financial crises? You don’t so either you think Scotland has the people and brainpower to make its own decisions or you believe the politicians at Westminster are far better placed to run Scotland – all devolved limited powers do is fudge the issue.

    • i don’t know why you can be so arrogant that you know you are so correct that the figures are wrong, if i knew i was correct i would have never bothered posting my opinion but i suppose arrogance prohibits modesty

    • That’s your second comment, Mr. Murray. Sad to see you have that bitter, angry Brit Nat vibe about you. And as for your nonsense about there never being another referendum, well we thought the SNP would walk away wounded into a corner and die after the indy ref. How wrong we were! Have no fears, the next referendum will come within three years – and after seeing the horrors inflicted by the Tory filth, the government another country voted for and we’re stuck with – I can assure you that any attempt by London to stop that referendum will not only ensure that it happens, but will see us finally release ourselves from this draining arranged marriage masquerading as a union. Hell, even the idiot Orangemen are changing their minds.

      • As long as a referendum produces a clear majority. The closeness of the Brexit vote has been very divisive. Worth setting the bar at 60+ per cent?

      • Why do u thinkDis May dashed up to Scotland ? Was it for her sake ? To strengthen her hand ? Or for the sake of the Scottish people? Why would it strengthen her hand if Scotland is so poor it has to be subsidised by Westminster constantly ? Or is it that Scotlands resourses, oil, universities, whisky, etc. I could go on , make her feel she has so much more to bargain with,Ruth bully Davidson has to spend all her time &energy pulling Nicola Sturgeon down there are so many things Nicola could hit her with starting with the poll tax, the bedroom tax, the benefit stopped for families who love children & want more than two, again I could go on. Slogans without substance! That’s all Scotland will get out of the Westmonster!!! PLease note I have not made this comment before!!!!!

    • As they say, are you a real doctor? For someone who professes to be learned you exhibit the juvenile tendency of viewing a subject in black and white.

    • The fact you are on here suggests you don’t believe your last statement. I wonder do you really believe the rest of it, or are you just hope full.

    • Was that the oil boom that better together pressed or the one the yes campaign pressed?

      Sorry pally mckneeler, there is still an argument…. back to your tv now

  • Eu membership fees for Scotland? Currently 55,000,000 gbp per day for UK. Assuming it’s 6m per day for scotland, that’s 2.2 billion a year.

  • The figures are highly improbable but like most people the thought of an independent Scotland sounds nice. Currency is a huge issue but besides that the Nationalists want to be part of the European Union – not very independent at all. Anyway they may not let us back because we would have to leave them first.

    • Independence and separatism are two different things Germans want to be part of the EU and see themselves as independent. In an ever interconnected and interdependent global economy separatism (UKIP style independence) is not healthy ideal the modern thought out style of independence within the EU make sense. As for EU membership there are differing views on that I can see no way to leave the EU other than to have an in out referendum and negotiate your way out which takes years (Greenland) and so voting yes would have started negotiations but ones to agree how Scotland stays in rather than leave. We might have ended up with a different deal to the rest of the UK but that is not to say it would be worse.

      • Those who have bothered to research how EU membership works will have seen that Scots ARE already citizens of the EU and that the policy on this matter is that you remain a citizen until your nation votes to leave in a referendum. It’s called inclusivity and since the British government failed to inform the public of this prior to the Indyref in 2014, (ScotGov do not have the authority to request such clarification thanks to Westminster) they have failed in their duty.
        Currency is an interesting issue though many would believe that Sterling is a British/UK commodity when in fact it is a world commodity which means anyone can use it if they wish. Ireland used it for around 50 years after it became independent just for your information (and because that wasn’t in a currency union they were not responsible for the debts accrued by the currency by those who control it (Westminster)). So a fresh start with no debt or assets using Sterling would be a challenge for Scotland and an nightmare for rUK as their tax base would have diminished by 11% or so according to this article and there would be a loose cannon on deck (Scotland) using that same currency without any input into control of its fiscal policy. So a most uneasy time for CoL corporation though they’d hedge both ways and try to swing it so they made most from things in spite of the effects on rUk/Scotland.
        The CU is best for both sides in the case of independence for Scotland though I expect the Britnatz and establishment will bluster about it NOT being in their best interests (meaning the banksters not the people) until they are blue in the face while most will see little to no change. Change that IS on its way. Sooner the better then fewer people will die at the hands of the Tory cuts

        • Scotland would struggle to raise any new money in world markets in another nation’s currency without agreement. And it is very likely that Scotland as an independent would still need to raise money, no matter what conclusions you might draw from some of the sensationalist headlines here.

          • I can see no evidence that Scotland would struggle to raise money if it was independent – some finance people who were pressured into saying something negative by Downing street did state that Scotland would possibly have to pay an extra 1% premium on bonds for the first few years given the lack of a track record in sovereign borrowing. It is however an equal valid projection that Scotland would have less debt as a % of GDP and therefor pay interest rates similar to the UK in the short term which would fall to lower than the Uk in the longer term. The negative projections assumed a population share of debt (which wouldn’t have happened without a currency union) and also didn’t take into account the likely lower debt per capita or the impact that comparative soaring risk with other countries might make Scottish debt more attractive. Finally would 1% on debt be a problem if the debt was spent investing on infrastructure and economic growth creating capital investments versus staying in the UK and having failed austerity cut our spending and economic growth – I would chose control over all economic levers and the possibility of higher debt wiped out by higher growth. Would it be a problem if the cost was as much as £1bn extra to Scotland budget when the interest paid on UK debt would fall by £3bn if the UK maintained all the UK debt? If a deal on debt was done then Scotland would be part of a currency union with the Uk and more likely not to have to pay a premium. So it is your comment that has a sensationalist claim not the blog you are commenting on.

  • This is typically what the UKGovernment intended, brainwash the Scots with balderdash and they’ll toe the line. We as a Nation are more than capable of being Independent. The pound doesn’t belong wholly to England. Our resources are numerous. It’s high time we had our own Country back and contrary to the Uk namely England , we as a Nation give more than we get in return. The only reason Cameron and co wanted Scotland to remain in the Union was because they have 1.3 trillion of debt and would go bankrupt if we had gained our Independence. There are numerous reports published about Scottish Wealth and how it has been mismanaged by consecutive Goverments(UK). McCrone Report, very interesting read then Craig Murray just for starters.

    • Rubbish . We are a net taker of money and if we got independence we would have a percentage share of debt so the remainder would be no worse off . There is no balderdash. There is no money and no oil . The numbers don’t add up . Denying and saying that they do is political infantilism

      • You, like so many others, fail to understand the key issue around the oft-quoted “subsidy”.


        London receives more than Scotland (on a per-person-basis), and NI receives the most.

        It is called deficit spending. All modern western democracies do it. In fact the debt burden of the UK has DOUBLED since the Tories came to power, and the deficit still stands at over £80bn per year.

        The number do, and have, added up – in terms of the Scottish economy. Your denial of the facts does not change them.

      • Not a single country having gained it’s Independence from The Union of England has ever wanted to come back, why not?
        Some of the smallest countries on earth get along fine without Great Englands help and aren’t asking to join up, why not?
        David Cameron during his attempts to keep Scotland under control of Imperial England was practically in tears begging us to stay, why?

        You may have noticed I avoid the usual terminology of GB or UK and that’s because unfortunately the English don’t understand which is which, why not?

        Perhaps all of the Scottish naysayers might understand this Location Location Location you watch enough property garbage on your TVs to maybe take this in, When Scotland regains control of it’s actual maritime borders, not the Makey Uppy ones that were invented to screw us out of our rights under devolution, I’ll tell you what, just look at a map and have a wee think about who owns what, and how much it’s worth (forget oil)that’s just there, Strategic defense is what’s scaring the S..T out of the Westminster Troughers and we in Scotland know it
        Scotlands maritme border was moved halfway up our coast by Donald Dewar and Tony Blair in a sneaky deal, why?

        • And always remember guys Britain means Britannia and that means England and Great Britain means Great Britannia which means Great England along with our queen of England and our English national anthem that wants to crush the Scots in the sixth verse? Who the hell cant understand why we are not a United Kingdom and not a country anymore but a Region of England

  • What are the cost’s for an independent Scotland to operate excluding oil?

    how much did Scotland earn excluding oil?

    It was something that should have been reported during referendum.

    it would show how viable Scotland is even without oil.

    • Nonsense. Scottish GDP is equal to English GDP.

      Oil, even at $40 a barrel, leaves Scotland better off financially than at any point, past, present of future, within the union.

      You can do the maths yourself, like I did, and see for yourself.

    • That is the problem. No figures for Scotland are collated. The wg stopped doing it in 1929. It was deemed to be too embarrassing and would encourage independence.

  • […] Over the past 5 years Scotland's would have been £8.3 billion better off as an independent country, when taking account of the new report published into Scotland's finances today. The new report also demonstrates that Scotland generated £800 more in tax per person than the UK average during the  […]

  • Can someone tell me how with a population of just over 5 million (half of those not working ie under 16s oaps disabled etc) we can fund hospitals police schools roads colleges universities social security welfare etc etc etc ? I’d love an independent Scotland but I can’t see how financially we could cope . And all this with a tax cut? Plus companies saying they would pull out of an independent Scotland what currency would we use ? Any money in the bank account would be useless if we can’t use the pound we can’t use the euro if we have to wait to apply for eu membership ..A financial disaster waiting to happen in my opinion .

    • Population size doesn’t matter much in this instance; for example a nation of 1 billion would need to pay for hospitals to service 1 billion people, i.e the costs are proportional.
      Currency was just used as a scare tactic during the referendum period, a currency union where we share the pound was the best option and would have been allowed if scotland did gain independence. It would have had a negative effect on England’s economy if Scotland had a different currency as Scotland is their second largest trading partner.
      Also the companies leaving was misunderstood and contorted by the media; these companies were only going to change their registered head offices and not stop servicing Scotland. If money is made on Scotland the taxes still have to be paid in Scotland so there wouldn’t really be a loss.

    • “Can someone tell me how with a population of just over 5 million (half of those not working ie under 16s oaps disabled etc) we can fund hospitals police schools roads colleges universities social security welfare etc etc etc ? I’d love an independent Scotland but I can’t see how financially we could cope .”

      You don’t seem to understand the premise that the tax being deducted from Scots will stay in Scotland and not head south. That’s how this gets paid for. The tax already being taken.

      Why do you think Scotland would not be able to cope? The report is pointing out that Scotland makes enough money to cover the costs, especially if you cut out the spending forced on it by being part of the UK. Read the above.

      Also, tread the following from Channel 4 News:

      The summary follows:

      “The verdict

      None of the economists FactCheck contacted thought there was a serious risk of an independent Scotland failing to survive.

      As David Cameron signalled this week, Unionists need to move past “threats or by saying that small countries can’t make it”.

      Control of North Sea oil has been a constant refrain for the SNP, but our experts think it may be a mistake either to bank on oil or to assume that an independent Scotland would fail without it.”

      SO everyone agrees Scotland can go it alone and that it would work with or without oil. It’s just that the politicians didn’t want Scots believing that so that they could retain power over Scotland from Westminster – and its resources.

      Oil and gas is still 100% reserved to Westminster per The Smith Commission proposals.

      As for currency, the £ issue was a purely political one. The UK Government would have cut off its nose to spite its face over currency by saying it would refuse to allow Scotland to use the £. How the hell would existing businesses based in England be able to do business with Scotland if The Treasury did that? Salmond was right, it was bull, but the Yes campaign failed to allay the fears of Project Fear.

      Indeed, you still seem to be suffering from such. Your fear about your money becoming useless is not worth responding to. As for the companies leaving Scotland crap, that was Cameron and The Treasury strong-arming business to put Scots off voting ‘yes’. What self-respecting business would up-sticks away from its existing customers and let a competitor take their place? This is why the nonsense from the likes of the Tory press was all about creating fear for the likes of you, who just took what they said at face value.

      Plenty of other countries have gone independent and had no financial basis or currency to work with. It makes complete sense to keep the £, at least as an interim measure.

      If the UK Gov should turn around and spitefully refuse to allow that to occur, it would be political and economic suicide – which is why it won’t happen. England & rUk cannot afford to screw an independent Scotland over. There’s too much business going on.

      • This debate about currency just drags on and really it was the No campaign who didn’t make it clear enough. First the problems with a currency union are as follows:
        1. The value of the pound interest rates etc are set by the bank of England. With a shared currency the economic performance of the participating country’s would have a direct effect on the currency value. ie a high rate of borrowing by one of the country’s would have a negative effect. This is why the bank of England would want some say in Scotland’s fiscal policy.
        2. For application to join the EU a country needs to have control of its own currency. A borrowed or shared currency would not qualify.
        3. When the Euro was introduced Britain and Denmark as existing members of the EU had the option to opt out. Sweden was in the process of joining and at first agreed to the Euro. After public outcry they had a referendum which rejected the Euro. As a result they don’t currently have the Euro, as Alex Salmond pointed out in the second debate he had with Jim Murphy, but what he didn’t mention, and Mr Murphy missed was that they are legally obliged to adopt it at some point (that part is too complicated to go into here). Nevertheless since then EU policy has been that any country wishing to join the EU has had to commit to adopting the Euro.
        Therefore despite all of the debate about currencies, in the end if Scotland wishes to be part of the EU we will have to at some point adopt the Euro and it will take a long time before we would fit the required parameters. Where we would stand on currency meantime god only knows.

        • A country can “commit” to adopting the Euro – say within the next 100 years. The obligation is still met but in real terms, nothing has changed. As to the pound, the UK pound is the most valued currency outwith the Middle east (4th world wide) – do you really think that the pound is “propped” up by the financial sector? I would happily bet a yrs salary that the UK would commit to a currency agreement with an independent country because otherwise, they would destroy their own currency in the event of us using something else.

        • So what you are saying Miles is that the ‘UK’ will one day have to join the Euro?
          If not then the argument is impotent.

    • You could look towards Scandinavia. Especially Denmark…. (not that it doesnt have its faults), the System here is working. I’m not saying you should copy it, but maybe let it serve as an inspiration on how to solve the issues in you’re question. Just an idea. 🙂

  • I’m convinced! I just followed the GERS link .. there is do doubt about any of the figures.. they are clear to see .. we’re rich! No wonder they want to hang on to us!

    • Robert. GERS does not confirm that ‘we’re rich!! As before:

      ‘1/Where in the GERS does the claimed ‘£8.3bn better off’ come from ? That figure does not appear in GERS.
      2/Yes, revenues per Scottish citizen are £800 a year higher than for whole UK ( probably because of higher proportion of public sector workers, who on average are better paid than private sector workers), but Public sector exp per Scottish citizen is £1,300 higher (£12,300 vs £11,000) than whole UK.
      3/ GERS shows that a separate Scottish economy would be dependent on volatile Oil tax revenues, which have swung between £4bn and £12bn over past 12 yrs..
      4/Assuming Scotland takes its fair share of the UK debt, it is currently getting revenues including North Sea oil of £48-56bn a year and spending £59-65 bn a year (high and low figures over the past five years) meaning the deficit has never been lower than £4bn and as high as £14bn – in the past year it was £12bn, when the onshore economy is only £125bn in size

      • Take away costs from Scotland’s bill that aren’t actually spent here and you’ll easily shave off the few billion difference that would put us in a deficit. It’s mentioned in the article at the end. The MOD for example costs us an extra £2 billion that isn’t actually spent on defence in Scotland. Unfortunately most people don’t spend the time to look into sneaky moves like hidden costs to realise how hard we’re being fisted.

        • You are dreaming if you don’t believe thousands of scots aren’t employed by the MOD in Scotland. You cannot simply fire them when you go independent.

          • The plan if there had been a Yes vote would have involved using the savings from not paying for nuclear weapons to pay for more front line troops. In others words they wouldn’t have been fired but there would be more and intact enough to meet our Nato obligations which we currently can’t. Such venom in your post but no facts I am afraid.

  • 1/Where in the GERS does the claimed ‘£8.3bn better off’ come from ? That figure does not appear in GERS.
    2/Yes, revenues per Scottish citizen are £800 a year higher than for whole UK ( probably because of higher proportion of public sector workers, who on average are better paid than private sector workers), but Public sector exp per Scottish citizen is £1,300 higher (£12,300 vs £11,000) than whole UK.
    3/ GERS shows that a separate Scottish economy would be dependent on volatile Oil tax revenues, which have swung between £4bn and £12bn over past 12 yrs..
    4/Assuming Scotland takes its fair share of the UK debt, it is currently getting revenues including North Sea oil of £48-56bn a year and spending £59-65 bn a year (high and low figures over the past five years) meaning the deficit has never been lower than £4bn and as high as £14bn – in the past year it was £12bn, when the onshore economy is only £125bn in size.

  • This is the exact type of nonsense that is muddying the water of this very serious debate. Wavering of totally unsubstantiated figures with no credible source. Or put simply “guff”.

    • No, you will find it is a factual statement based on evidence produced from Scotland’s national accounts. When mentioned on TV has any unionist politician said its not true? No, then there is your proof, watch them they just refocus on this years numbers and point out they are not as good as last years – but it is Westminster policy that has caused the dip in oil revenues (just in time for the referendum) – so the fall in oil revenues is an argument for independence!

      I take it you noticed that taxation per head for Scotland was far higher again than for the UK? You are posting unsubstantiated statements go look at the GERS report and present data to back up your claims and disprove ours – you won’t be able to because we are making a statement of fact.

      Why would you be so sure if you haven’t even looked!

        • Hi Neil.

          £8.3 billion is Scotland’s stronger economic position over the past 5 years in the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland reports.

          Scotland has raised 9.5% of UK tax and received only 9.3% of UK spending (even including spending outside Scotland that the Scottish accounts are still charged for).

          That difference is tax and spending means that Scotland was in a stronger economic position by £8.3 billion.

          • But figures for total UK revenue and total UK expenditure are different because borrowing makes up the difference. How is the calculation made?

    • John

      I would have been far more impressed if you had identified ONE piece of data as inaccurate with a source.
      I have now examined several documents ranging from the FT to independent economists. We have variations in the exact values. However the general thread common to all is that Scotland is paying interest on funds that were not spent in Scotland.

      You may not like facts entering the debate. Standard and Poor and the FT are not regarded as sources of “guff”.

      Whereas the BBC and BT are, shall we say, renowned for it!

  • Without provable sources or clickable links to credible sources these are all just hyperbole although I’d dearly love it to be true. If more than one person / group echoed these then that’d be fine but I don’t see it

    • Do you mean like the link we put in the first paragraph of the article to this document?

      I state again our analysis is not challenged by anyone and anyone can access the information so go look for yourself.

      All analysis of Scotland’s fiscal position state that over a five ten or even longer period – in fact as long as historical Scottish Expenditure and revenue reports go back – that Scotland has been in a stronger fiscal position than the UK.

  • Is there an accurate total figure for ‘allocation costs’ to Scotland’s P&L which would not exist in an independent Scotland ?

    • Bill

      Did you see a figure for the UK for comparison – No! (It wouldn’t fit the agenda because it is eye watering)
      Did you see a figure for the rUK without Scotland’s contribution to the UK – No. This really would have changed the debate

      The BBC only supply “a big number” in isolation to fuel unease. The data is out there. The figure for London is almost double Wales. It gives you a good average but hardly a balanced society.

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