Press release

Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland 2015/16

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell has responded to today's Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) 2015/16 report.

Photograph of a stack of pound coins
“Scotland weathered a dramatic slump in oil revenues last year because we are part of a United Kingdom that has at its heart a system for pooling and sharing resources across the country as a whole."

The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) 2015/16 report, published today as National Statistics by the Scottish Government, shows how Scotland benefits from being part of a strong United Kingdom.

Responding to the report, Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:

These figures show how being part of the UK protects living standards in Scotland.

Scotland weathered a dramatic slump in oil revenues last year because we are part of a United Kingdom that has at its heart a system for pooling and sharing resources across the country as a whole.

It is important that continues and the financial deal between the UK and Scottish governments, struck last year as part of the transfer of new tax and welfare powers to Holyrood, means real security for Scotland.

The fact public spending was £1,200 per head higher in Scotland than the UK as a whole also demonstrates that the United Kingdom, not the European Union, is the vital union for Scotland’s prosperity.

In light of figures confirming greatly reduced North Sea revenues, the Secretary of State reiterated the UK Government’s commitment to the oil and gas industry. He said:

No government is doing more than the UK to support their oil and gas industry.

Key points from the 2015/16 GERS report include:

  • Scotland’s spending was around £1,200 per head higher than that of the UK average in 2015/16.

  • Scotland’s share of North Sea revenues was £76 million in 2015/16, compared with £2.252 billion the previous year and nearly £11 billion in 2011/12.

  • Given the low North Sea revenue, tax revenues generated in Scotland (£10,000 per head) were £400 per head less than across the UK as a whole.

  • Scotland’s deficit or borrowing is almost £1,700 per person larger than the UK average in 2015/16.

  • Scotland contributed 7.9% of UK tax and received 9.1% of UK spending in 2015/16, demonstrating how Scotland receives secure and stable levels of spending irrespective of the volatile tax revenues from the North Sea.

  • Scotland’s deficit worsened in 2015/16, while the UK’s as a whole improved. Scotland’s deficit as a share of GDP was 9.5% and this compares with 4.0% for the UK.

Support for the UK’s oil and gas sector:

  • The UK Government is doing everything possible to support the oil and gas industry and the thousands of workers and families it supports.

  • We established the Oil and Gas Authority to drive greater collaboration and productivity within the industry. In the last two budgets we announced radical packages of tax measures worth £2.3 billon to ensure the UK Continental Shelf remains an attractive destination for investment. No other government has made fiscal changes as extensive in response to falling oil prices.

Published 24 August 2016