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NEED FOR FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MORE PRESSING THAN EVER
Today’s publication of the latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report for 2008/09 not only fatally undermine the scaremongering by the London parties about Scottish independence but also makes the case that Scotland should have financial responsibility – particularly with Tory cuts threatening Scottish growth – says SNP MSP Linda Fabiani, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee.
Today’s report shows that Scotland’s public finances are in a very healthy position, and generate far more income than we spend – even in a period of recession and including a share of the UK Government’s Financial Sector Interventions to support the banking sector.
They show that Scotland’s financial position in 2008/09 was a current budget surplus of £1.3 billion, or 0.9% of GDP, including a geographical share of North Sea revenues. At the same time, the UK was in current budget deficit of £48.9 billion, or 3.4% of GDP, including 100% of North Sea revenues.
The cumulative value of Scotland’s current budget surplus over the four year period from 2005/06 to 2008/09 now stands at some £3.5 billion. Over this same period, the UK built up a deficit of £72.3 billion.
Commenting on today’s report Linda Fabiani
Ms Fabiani said:
“These are the strongest GERS figures ever published – it is game, set and match for the case for Scotland to be responsible for our own resources.
“Today’s statistics make the case for Scotland to achieve financial responsibility. With the Tory/LibDem budget threatening Scottish growth and the Labour party unable to protect Scotland – having created the mess in the first place – only financial responsibility for Scotland can help Scotland’s economy grow more strongly and build recovery.
Coming the day after a budget in which Scotland has been dealt a share of the pain for the UK’s debts these figures show Scotland’s potential if we were in charge of our own resources.
“Today’s statistics also fatally undermine all the scaremongering from the London parties. Whilst they have been talking down Scotland – and running the economy down – the statistics demonstrate beyond doubt that Scotland has built up a surplus of 3.5 billion over a four year period, while the UK as a whole racked up a deficit of £72.3 billion.
“The GERS report conclusively proves that the flow of resources in the UK is from north to south – not south to north.
“The Calman proposals have been overtaken politically and economically and it is time to move on to real financial responsibility for the Scottish Parliament and a referendum on independence.”