Maybe the Scots should vote Yes. It would save the rest of us a fortune
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On September 18th, the Scots will have a choice. Stay in the United Kingdom, and live off English money. Or vote to be independent, and still live off English money. Of course, if any Scot reads that first line, they will spit feathers. However, I think I am perfectly justified to articulate the point that, in fact, Scotland isn’t a large economy and it spends far more that it raises in tax. It is a very popular argument for the Yes Campaign to continue to say that Scotland raises more tax per head than any other country in the UK. This may be so, but such a statement is very misleading indeed. For one, this does not reflect total tax take. Let’s take the financial year 2012/2013, where Scotland raised a total of £51bn in taxation. In return, Scotland received a total of £65bn in public spending back. Now, of course Yes Campaigners will argue that Scotland doesn’t get back the £65bn in full, because the devolved Scottish Parliament only controls £36bn of that latter figure. Yet, the clue is in the title, the Scottish Government can only control a budget for areas that it controls. So far, so simple. I imagine. The other £29bn is spent on un-devolved areas, such as Scottish pensions, welfare payments, defence, foreign affairs and public sector pay. In contrast, take England, which generated over £329bn in tax revenue in 2012/2013. What’s clear is that money doesn’t grow on trees, as the Nationalists like to pretend.
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