Friday, June 20, 2008

'mon the GERS!

Oh, looky there! The latest edition of 'Government Expenditure and Revenues in Scotland' has been published and with heed having been taken of many of the criticisms levelled at previous editions, the methodology seems to have been refined somewhat.

Nothing too dramatic, you understand. Just minor details like including a geographical share of oil and gas revenues to Scottish accounts; trying to identify Scottish spending as accurately as possible and improving the estimates of Scottish tax revenues. And guess what? While the UK ran a budget deficit in 2006/07, on these estimates Scotland ran a surplus of £800m. Since the price of a barrel of oil has doubled since then, I can't wait to see what next June's figures hold...

By a country mile, this is the most comprehensive and rigorous analysis yet undertaken of Scotland's finances. Maybe now, we'll start to hear a more articulate and intelligent unionist case for Britain based on the argument "Scotland more than pays her way, and here's why she should continue to do so"

Nah. It'll never catch on... :-)