DCSIMG

Independence ‘would lead to second-highest’ deficit

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Picture: Robert Perry

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Picture: Robert Perry

  • by DAVID MADDOX
 

AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would start existence with the second-highest deficit of all advanced economies, according to an analysis by the UK Treasury.

Treasury officials have calculated that Scotland would have a fiscal deficit of 5.5 per cent in 2016-17, equivalent to £9.5 billion, or £1,760 per head.

This would be about £1,000 greater than the UK’s deficit per head in the same year.

The analysis has been rejected by the Scottish Government, which said an independent Scotland would be the 14th wealthiest country.

According to the Treasury, only the US would have a larger fiscal deficit per head than an independent Scotland in 2016. Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “All these reports confirm that both the UK and Scotland would be worse off apart.

“Being part of the larger UK economy provides Scotland with jobs, stability and security. Independence would mean higher taxes and lower spending on public services.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “An independent Scotland would be the 14th wealthiest country in the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] – compared to the UK at 18th – and according to the Financial Times would be among the 20 wealthiest countries in the world.”

 

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