Commenting on the Scottish Government’s publication of the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland 2010-2011 (GERS) figures today, the Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:
“The figures once again show there are great benefits to being part of the United Kingdom. You only have to look at the £15.5 billion which the UK Government spent on social protection and welfare last year as an example of the security of spending the people of Scotland rely on. That figure is worth double the oil and gas revenue alone.
“It is also encouraging to see revenues rising once again after a couple of very difficult years.
“Scotland is an integral part of the UK and also benefits from the UK-wide spending on the wider economy - including the essential stabilisation of the banking system, deficit reduction, quantitative easing and other projects led by the UK Government.
“There is little point in the Scottish Government saying Scotland’s finances are stronger than the UK’s - that relies on a number of omissions and fails to take account of the interwoven nature of the UK’s spending. Scotland is thankfully not separate from the UK’s public sector spending and it is up to those seeking independence to explain what the benefits of leaving a system which equally shares risk and reward would be.
“They must also explain what Scotland’s net fiscal deficit, even including the oil and gas revenues, would mean for much-vaunted policies such as an oil fund. It seems obvious to say that you cannot create an oil fund from money which does not exist.”