Commenting on the Scottish Government’s GERS figures published today, the Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:
“The Scottish Government’s own figures make a compelling case for Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom. On every measure, they show Scotland running at a deficit - with a current budget deficit of £9 billion including all the oil revenues.
“They illustrate the uncertainty an economy based on oil would experience from year to year. Today’s figures show a £9 billion plunge into the red which wipes out the modest surplus of previous years many times over.
“That would have huge consequences for Scotland if it was not able to spread the risk of that volatility as part of a wider UK economy. There is no escaping that fact no matter how creatively the Scottish Government interprets these figures.
“The year-on-year variations of the oil prices are far better managed in a UK-wide economy. It means Scotland can benefit in the good times and manage its risk effectively when the price drops. As part of the United Kingdom we share in the risks and we share in the recovery.
“It is vital that we get Scotland’s economy back on a healthy footing and the UK Government is working hard to achieve that through measures such as cutting corporation tax, reducing the national insurance burden and tackling the deficit.
“Scotland has two governments and they must work together towards the common goal of growth in our economy.”
The GERS figures show the estimated current budget balance for the public sector in Scotland was a deficit of:
£14.9 billion excluding North Sea revenue
£14.4 billion including a per capita share of North Sea revenue
£9.0 billion including an illustrative geographical share of North Sea revenue
In 2009-10, Scotland’s estimated net fiscal balance was a deficit of:
- £19.9 billion excluding North Sea oil revenue