Analysis of Scottish Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures by Scottish Labour saw separation from the UK could hit Scots hard as the SNP renew their push for separation at their party conference this weekend. The GERS data was compared with the SNP’s ‘Sustainable Growth Commission’ targets that say the party plans to cut Scotland’s deficit to under three percent within five to ten years of independence.
But with 2020/21 GERS data showing Scotland’s deficit currently sitting at 22.4 percent and expenditure per person currently £18,144, this would mean a cut of £5,758 in public spending for every Scot.
Further research by Wright Hassall solicitors also revealed Scotland benefited significantly from remaining within the Union due to generous funding from the UK Government.
A separate analysis of UK income tax revenue and expenditure figures showed Scotland had the second-highest level of spending per head in the UK with each Scot receiving £15,069 per person.
This is compared to a UK average of £13,263, a difference of £1,806.
Daniel Johnson, Scottish Labour finance spokesperson said independence would lead to “savage” austerity imposed on the people of Scotland.
The Edinburgh Southern MSP said last night: “This shocking statistic has laid bare the cost to the people of Scotland of the SNP’s constitutional obsession.
“This massive cut would drive down public services and balance the books on the backs of working people.
“The fact of the matter is that the SNP knows that their independence plans will hurt the working people of Scotland, they just do not care.”
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A Scottish Conservative spokesperson said: “The price of independence would be devastating cuts to our public services or hammering hard-working Scots with tax rises.”
Last night, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said another Scottish independence referendum would allow people to “define and decide our recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Blackford argued Scotland was on a “different path” to that of the Westminster Government and that sleaze, benefit cuts and tax rises “that always, always punish the poor” made the case for independence.
An SNP spokesperson added: “The real financial crisis facing the Scottish people is not that of independence, but Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit deal – a deal the Labour Party failed to tackle head-on.
“Not only does the UK Government’s hard Brexit deal continue to cost Scotland billions of pounds – it is also having a devastating impact on our recovery from Covid.
“There can be no doubt that the only way to secure a financially stable, forward-thinking, progressive Scotland after the pandemic is to become an independent nation.”