Scottish independence: Scotland in the red by billions of pounds since SNP took power, claim opposition

SCOTLAND has run up a public spending deficit of billions of pounds since the SNP came to power, opposition parties have said ahead of figures being published today setting out the fiscal position.

But Nationalists say Scotland remains in a stronger position than the rest of the UK with the Treasury running up a deficit of more than £130 billion.

Tory economy spokesman Gavin Brown said the Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland (Gers) figures, setting out the tax take against the amount spent on services, from previous years show that Scotland is more than £8 billion in the red since 2007. Scotland has been in surplus for four of the past five years, but the deficit of £8.9bn in 2009/10 dwarfed the surpluses of less than £1bn in previous years.

Mr Brown said: “Since the SNP came to power, the figures available show a deficit of more than £8bn, including the geographical share of oil resources.

“This merely emphasises that we have to look at these figures over a long period of time.”

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But a spokesman for Mr Salmond said: “In the five years to 2009/10 Scotland was in a stronger position than the UK as a whole to the tune of £7.2bn.”