This week we have learned that Scotland is now running a budget deficit of over £15billion per year, with total public spending of over £68billion per year. A deficit of 28.3%.
The picture for the UK on the whole is embarrassing, with total income of £672billion against expenditure of £744billion. A deficit of £72billion or 10.7%.
This is some deficit and to put this into context in 2014, the government revenue in Greece amounted to around 81.67 billion euros, while government spending came to around 88.67 billion euros. A deficit of 8.6%.
Although the leaders of the SNP may point to falling oil revenues, it is quite clear that Scotland is an economic basket case.
|The Leaders of the Scottish Nationalist party (SNP)|
Scotland actually spends a third of its expenditure (43% of its budget) on so called ‘Social Protection’. Social protection is the new term used to cover welfare benefits, which increased almost exponentially in the UK under the last Labour government (‘reign of terror’ 1997-2010).
|Labours assault on the UK taxpayer|
The most significant outlay on benefits has traditionally been the state pension. With an ageing population this is what you would expect, however Gordon Brown’s tax credits, child benefit, disability benefit and housing benefit have been the driving force behind the astonishing rise in our public expenditure.
|Gordon Brown’s legacy|
In the UK tax credits and child benefit is the real problem but in Scotland they seem to have a mass epidemic of illness leading to over 30% of welfare spending being spent on disability benefits. Now we could speculate as to what are the underlying causes of this, but the fact is spending across the UK on disability benefits is only 15% of total welfare spending.
Now disability spending may only be £6billion in Scotland, but the discrepancy would suggest that Scotland has hundreds of thousands of people that are not in work that could be, and could be generating income for Scotland instead of spending it. Maybe this sickness epidemic is why they can’t afford to look after themselves and need to be subsidised by the rest of the U.K. primarily England.
This brings us onto the Barnett formula.
|Public spending per head|
The Barnett formula is not a hair product that once applied produces an outrageous frizzy Afro. It is in fact a system of grants which increases the level of public spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to reflect changes in spending levels allocated to public services in England.
As well as subsidising Scotland through public spending the English taxpayer also contributes to their wellbeing in an even more perverse way, the EU!
Back in June, the so called BBC dedicated at least 3 weeks to explain the breakdown of the UK’s contributions to the EU.
|UK’s EU membership fee|
The BBC were obsessed with pointing out that we “get back” over £5billion a year. Let’s take a look at where this goes.
|What we “get back” and where|
So, nearly half of what the UK gets back in funding is spent in Scotland. It would be cheeper to cut out Brussels out and just send the money direct to Scotland. This is probably how the Scottish people were coerced into voting remain.
At no point did the BBC question what the EU did with our net contribution of over £8billion a year, or if access to the single market was worth it. The idea is we pay £8billion but in return get to profit from trade and services sold in the EU. Let’s take a look at this.
|UK/EU balance of trade|
As you can see from the chart above, the UK did benefit financially from EU membership up to 1997. However once Labour got in, things quickly deteriorated and we are now left with a clear trade deficit which is approaching £100billion p.a. in 2016. So we pay to be a member of an alleged trade union which quite literally no longer works for us. It is obvious that following David Cameron’s failure to renegotiate our terms of membership the English and Welsh people have made a very wise choice for the UK in voting to leave the EU.
Let’s take a look at Scotland’s trade.
Total UK exports are around £360 billion p.a. Of which Scotland contributes it’s fair share, largely due to oil and gas production. But the UK accounts for 60% of Scotland’s exports making us easily their single biggest trading partner.
It is ironic that the SNP talk about staying in the EU yet advocate or even demand Scottish independence. It is clear that Scotland are unable to pay their bills and are actually dependent upon England to help them out. Not only are they subsidised by the taxpayer through disparity in public spending (Barnett formula) but are also handed money by the EU (EU funding), which should instead be spent where it was raised, in England. How would this funding be impacted if Scotland left the UK to rejoin the EU post brexit? Would they expect free handouts from France and Germany instead?
Leaving the UK would be very costly for Scotland, not just in terms of reduced EU funding, and loss of a 20% public spending subsidy. If the EU failed to negotiate a fair trade deal with the U.K. any trade tariffs would reduce the profitability of 60% of Scotland’s exports.
This financial inadequacy is a bit like a stroppy 16 year old threatening to leave home. That is until they realise that they can’t afford it and they would end up living on the streets.
The SNP are misleading Scotland and sooner or later it will backfire on them and the Scottish people as the rest of the U.K. are fed up with footing their bills.
Scotland can not afford to be independent from the UK and the EU wouldn’t have them.