Balanced view

I am grateful to the academics from the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR) for their response (Letters, 10 December) to my suggestion that their recent report into Scotland’s financial position lacks balance.

While I am glad that the CPPR acknowledges the threat to the Barnett formula in earlier reports, the decision not to mention this in its recent media briefing is questionable, to say the least.

Indeed, the recent CPPR briefing includes explicit projections, without caveat, that assume the continuation of the existing Barnett formula in making its comparisons.

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For example, “post independence, the key difference in Scotland’s public sector funding arrangement would be that the current Barnett formula related net transfer… would be lost to Scotland”, and “in effect, Scotland would be giving up the net transfer from the rest of the UK implicit in the existing Barnett arrangement, of around £7 billion in cash terms”.

Not surprisingly, these were the sentences given prominence in the media coverage of the report. Given that changes to the Barnett formula have been projected to cost Scotland in the region of £4bn per year, these are not minor details.

C Hegarty

Glenorchy Road

North Berwick