Only with independence can we unleash Scotland’s full potential

The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) was published today.

As a result of the largest revenue increase in history, Scotland’s fiscal position is recovering faster than the UK’s.

This is before we have seen the full impact of the recent rise in oil prices. Scotland’s deficit is likely to fall faster than that of the UK next year, as oil and gas revenues are expected to grow to £13 billion.

In fact, GERS demonstrates that the UK’s response to the cost crisis is based on Scotland’s natural resources – not to mention its windfall tax on the North Sea.

Even without revenue from the North Sea, Scotland’s revenue raised covers all devolved expenditure, including state pensions, and all social security spending – devolved or reserved.

In addition, the SNP Government made different policy choices during the pandemic, such as offering more generous business rate relief than elsewhere in the UK in 2021-22.

Austerity and Brexit are taking their toll on Scotland’s economy, with 74% of revenue and 37% of spending reserved for the UK government.

With the highest inflation rate in the G7 and the worst economic outlook among G20 nations except Russia, it’s no wonder the UK has the highest inflation rate. And now, amid the worst cost-of-living crisis in living memory, the UK government has failed to take any effective action.

Independence is no cure-all solution but with the full powers of a normal independent country, the Scottish Parliament would be able to weather the current storm making decisions that both reflect and protect the values of the people of Scotland, rather than hand them over to a broken Westminster system and hoping for the best.