Scotland's economy has lagged behind UK since devolution

Scotland's economy has lagged behind the rest of the UK over the two decades of devolution and the situation worsened after the financial crash of 2008, new analysis has found.

The oil price crash had a major impact on Scotland's economy
The oil price crash had a major impact on Scotland's economy

And it could have “tangible consequences” for future public spending in Scotland, according to the research by Scottish Trends.

Information & Communications and Business services have seen the biggest growth in Scotland in recent decades, but also have the biggest gaps to the same sectors UK-wide. In fact business services have been static over the past five years north of the border.

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Much of the problems for Scottish growth since 2014 has been the downturn in the fortunes of the North Sea after oil price crash.

Professor John McLaren of Scottish Trends said: “As economic statistics become more difficult to interpret, now is a good time to reflect back over the last two decades of Scottish economic growth.

"Doing so shows some relative success stories for Scotland but even more areas that are of concern,

especially relating to the recent past. The lack of any real growth over the past five years in key

areas of economic and social importance, like Business services and Health should be a worry to

politicians and citizens alike.

"Without more time and money being spent on understanding such a dearth of progress in these key

areas then we will face even more challenges, post pandemic crisis, than we need to."

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The Scottish Budget is now highly dependent on the Scottish growth rate, via Income Tax, and such gaps with performance in the rest of the UK have "tangible consequences" the paper warns.

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