Scottish public spending higher than UK, finds new report

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Scots continue to enjoy higher public spending levels than the UK average, official figures today revealed.

And the gap in between Scotland and the rest of the UK on spending for services like schools and hospitals is on the rise, according to the Country and Regional Analysis 2017.

Is federalism the answer to the Scotland's constitional questions? Picture: TSPL

Is federalism the answer to the Scotland's constitional questions? Picture: TSPL

The average Scot receives £10,651 in public spending, compared to £9,159 for the rest of the UK. The gap of £1,492 grew by £72 over the past year, the figures show.

READ MORE: Hard-pressed Scots workers ‘will struggle to cope with tax rise’

The Scottish Government has signalled it is to increase income tax next year to raise more cash for public services.

The highest spend per head is in Northern Ireland at £11,042, followed by Scotland. Wales is next at £10,076 and then England at £8,898.

READ MORE: Sturgeon’s bid to make Scotland a Scandinavian country

The public spending issue has been at the heart of the constitutional debate in Scotland, with pro-union campaigners claiming it shows the "dividend" of Scotland's place in the UK.

The figures take in both devolved services delivered by Holyrood and "reserved" spending from Westminster.

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The allocation of public cash around the UK is determined by Barnett formula which is designed to provide the devolved administrations with a population share of any increases in comparable spending by UK departments.

Tory finance spokesman Murdo Fraser said: “These latest figures show that being part of the United Kingdom is increasingly beneficial to every Scot.

“This further illustrates the mismanagement of the SNP as they fail to use this extra money to maximum effect and instead insist on raiding the pockets of hard-working tax payers.”

But a Scottish Government spokeswoman said the results show that Scotland “consistently invests more per person on education, health and policing than the UK as a whole.”

She added: “What these figures don’t show is that Scotland’s budget is being cut 9.2% in real terms over the decade to 2019-20. The Finance Secretary has lobbied the Chancellor for a fair deal for Scotland in the Autumn Budget.

“A hard Brexit is the biggest threat to our economic prospects, projected to cost Scotland’s economy around £11 billion a year and 80,000 fewer jobs by 2030.”