Monday, 13 June 2011
Dr Wellings Is 'Very Worried'
The fun begins with the image of not just a poor Scotland but one which would be bankrupt and need a bailout.
Dr Richard Wellings of the IEA - a London-based think tank - has compiled the maths for an independent Scotland and:
"It's very worrying, and I'd be very worried about it."
Of course it's worrying; the present economic situation of the UK is worrying, but Scots will take their fair share of the UK debt, just as they are doing at present. There's no point in talking figures though until we have a true long-term economic growth plan and providing this graph, with the accompanying doom-lade rhetoric, is pointless.
The Scottish Government regularly publishes the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) reports and I gather my economical information from this source.
However, this scaremongering statement from Dr Wellings' eliminates much of his credibility:
"The other issue Scotland would have is that because North Sea oil would be such a huge chunk of tax revenues, and that fluctuates wildly from year to year, the tax revenues would be very unstable."
How do other countries manage who have oil? Shouldn't the calculation have been population based, not GDP based? The yearly allocation to Scotland is calculated in that way. What about Scotland's share of UK assets? Are there none?
Every country has debt but the important fact is whether they can service it or not. I have no doubt that Scotland will struggle for a generation once it is independent and the Scots will have to have faith in their politicians even through the hard times. But will they?