Pensions & Welfare more Affordable in Independent Scotland

Sandy Turner

Figures from GERS (Government Expenditure & Revenue in Scotland) show how an independent Scotland is better placed to fund pensions and welfare compared to the UK.

The analysis of the figures from GERS show that the size of Scotland’s social/welfare protection expenditure and state pension bill as a share of government revenue (with revenue being the money Scotland raises in tax for the very purpose of paying for public services) shows that in Scotland between 2005 and 2010 Scotland’s pension expenditure was 15.1% of Scottish revenues, less than the 15.7% for the UK.

In terms of social/welfare protection expenditure it was 41.9% of Scottish
revenues, less than the 43.2% for the UK.

These figures contrast with attempts by Michael Moore this week to compare
Scottish welfare and pension spending solely with oil revenues – an exercise
that if it applied to the UK as whole would result in a trillion pound deficit for the
Whitehall Treasury.

SNP Councillor Sandy Turner said:
“This week’s trillion pound blunder by Michael Moore to try and scaremonger pensioners only looks all the more ridiculous when compared to the whole picture.

On the basis of taxes raised in Scotland, and once our welfare protection
expenditure and state pensions are paid, Scotland actually has a relative
surplus compared to the UK.

In short Scotland is more able to afford our pension and welfare bill than the  UK.

Taking all spending in Scotland into account and all of our revenues, Scotland  has run a current budget surplus in four of the five years to 2009/10 – while  the UK was in current budget deficit in each of these years, and hasn’t run a  current budget surplus since 2001/02.

Michael Moore’s parroting of Tory arguments to talk Scotland down and use  spurious comparisons to scaremonger pensioners shows how little confidence they  have in their case.

It’s about time the unionists stopped talking Scotland down and
started trying to get the economy moving again. This constant negativity does  nothing to encourage business to come to towns like Bo’ness and Falkirk.”

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