Labour forced to admit Scotland isn't subsidised

Scotland has generated £222bn more in tax over the last 30 years than the UK average, new figures have revealed.

Analysis published by the Scottish Government today shows that between 1980/81 and 2011/12, tax revenue per person in Scotland has been £1350 a year higher than the UK as a whole, when adjusted for inflation.

This means that in 2011-12 prices Scotland has contributed £222 billion more in tax revenues since 1980-81 than if we had simply matched the per capita contributions of the UK.

During the 1980s, when the Tories were steadily dismantling Scotland’s manufacturing and heavy industries, Scotland paid an additional £130bn in tax revenue to the UK Treasury.

The anti-independence parties have recently begun to accept that Scotland would be financially better off if independent. In response to the figures, Labour’s Finance Spokesman Ken Macintosh today accepted that Scotland is not subsidised by the rest of the UK, and admitted “I don’t think Scotland is too poor to do anything”

Commenting, SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said:

“This analysis shows that, despite the best efforts of Tory Governments past and present to dismantle many of our key industries, Scotland has very much paid its own way.

“These figures confirm that Scotland’s wealth was used to support the policies of a Thatcher government Scotland hadn’t even voted for. No wonder the UK Government are so keen to talk Scots out of our oil wealth now.

“It is the final insult that Thatcher’s economic agenda - which caused so much harm to communities in Scotland - was funded by the very people it hurt.

“Scotland’s wealth was used to bankroll the Tories in the 1980s, and continues to be used to underwrite their damaging economic agenda now, instead of being put to use for communities across the country.

“Ken Macintosh’s acceptance that Scotland is not subsidised by the rest of the UK is very welcome, and shows how much the independence debate has moved on in recent months.

“An independent Scotland would be able to use our wealth to build a fairer, more prosperous Scotland – and no one disputes that we have the resources to do that.”


From BBC Good Morning Scotland 12th April:

Ken Macintosh: I can tell you that I don’t think Scotland is too poor to do anything

Gary Robertson: Scotland is not subsidised in any way by the rest of the UK?

“No, I don’t think so. No.”