Ed: From a letter published in the Herald but so usefully succinct and punchy it’s worth sharing again here:
From Leah Gunn Barrett
Scotland’s deficit isn’t a fact but a farce. Tory-designed GERS shows what it costs Scotland to be part of the UK.
First, the GERS ‘deficit’ includes billions spent outside Scotland “on our behalf” such as nuclear weapons, the military, English infrastructure, London civil servants, and lavish embassies.
Second, GERS is bad accounting. Scottish income such as rents, interest and insurance that should be recorded here is recorded in south east England where the companies receiving the payment are based. This huge revenue transfer understates our revenues, making us look poorer.
Third, GERS is full of estimates. For example, the amount of VAT, corporation, capital gains and inheritance tax paid in Scotland isn’t known, nor is the level of our exports and imports.
Finally, the UK Government loads GERS with interest payments on a population share of the UK’s debt, which Scotland didn’t create, that totals £130bn (£4.5bn last year) over the last 40 years. Without that enormous cost, Scotland’s finances would be in surplus. Scotland will have no obligation for UK debt upon independence.
Westminster is terrified of losing Scotland because it needs our money, resources and land where it stores its nukes.
It’s past time we dump not only GERS, but also this failed Union.