You may have heard the claim that spending in Scotland is much higher than elsewhere in the UK. What is less well known is that the tax revenues generated by Scotland are much higher too.
The 2011-2012 Government Expenditure and Revenue figures show that Scotland has about 8.4% of the UK population and gets 9.3% of UK spending. However, Scotland also generates 9.9% of UK tax revenues.
When we take into account all parts of the financial equation, spending, revenue and borrowing, this means we contribute over £824 per person more than 'our share'. Over the last 7 years Scotland’s finances have been stronger than the UK. And an analysis over 30 years shows we have had a relative surplus of £19 billion.
Some people worry that an independent Scotland wouldn’t be able to deal with the high level of debt, but figures released in January 2012 by City firm M&G Investments showed that Scotland’s debt as a percentage of national wealth was smaller than the UK’s. For Scotland it was 56%, for the UK 63% - as the report said, Scotland’s starting point looks better than the UK as a whole.