Paying our way
The “big lie” referred to by Brian Allan (Letters, 2 October) is that Scotland is a nation of subsidy junkies. We contribute 9.6 per cent of the UK’s taxation, and receive 9.3 per cent of the spending, including welfare benefits, with 8.4 per cent of the UK population.
That is a relative surplus of about £2.7 billion in 2010-11, or £500 for every man, woman and child in Scotland.
And the most recent GERS statistics show that the annual benefit bill is a lower proportion of Scottish revenue than it is across the UK as a whole.
Total benefits paid out in Scotland amount to 40 per cent of all revenues collected from Scotland. Across the UK as a whole, the benefits bill makes up 42 per cent of all expenditure.
This means that Scotland can more easily afford to pay decent benefits to its citizens than the UK as a whole is able to.
We don’t depend on Westminster to foot our unemployment bill, we only depend on Westminster to create mass unemployment in the first place.
That’s something London governments have historically been quite good at.
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