Nicola Sturgeon rejects claims Scotland is ‘subsidised’ by UK

Nicola Sturgeon has rejected claims Scotland is "subsidised" by the UK. Picture: SWNS
Nicola Sturgeon has rejected claims Scotland is "subsidised" by the UK. Picture: SWNS
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Nicola Sturgeon has insisted Scotland is not “subsidised” by the rest of the UK after today’s GERS figures revealed public spending levels are more than £1,500 per head higher north of the border.

The First Minister said the billions of pounds in oil revenues which Scotland has contributed to UK tax coffers in recent decades show the country has more than “paid its way”.

The official GERS figures today showed that Scots benefited from £13,530 of public spending per head in 2017/18. This compares with the UK average of £11,954. Scotland also contributed £306 less per head in taxes, amounting to a so called “union dividend” of £1882.

READ MORE: GERS figures: Scotland’s finances improving as deficit reduces

The SNP leader was asked today whether taxpayers south of the border would find this “fair”.

But she said: “You’re question is asking me to start from an assumption that Scotland is somehow subsidised and I don’t accept that.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “I think if you look over the piece and the contribution of Scottish tax revenues onshore and offshore to the UK Treasury over a period of years, I think probably you have to conclude that it is perhaps more than fair.

“I don’t think there is anything unfair in terms of Scotland’s contribution, from a Scottish perspective, our contribution to UK finances.

“We’ve more than paid our way.”