Recession Leaves Scots Households Poorest in Britain; Economic Growth 'Flatlining' under SNP

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Byline: Graham Grant Home Affairs Editor

SCOTLAND has the poorest households of all the British nations, according to a new study.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) calculated average wealth, taking into account the value of property and any private pensions.

It found the wealth of Scottish households was [pounds sterling]353,687 - compared with [pounds sterling]429,102 for England and [pounds sterling]380,661 for Wales. The average for Britain as a whole is [pounds sterling]419,492.

Only the North-East England sub-region had an average household poorer than Scotland. In 2006, a similar survey put Scotland fourth from the bottom of the table, meaning the nation has slumped even further since then.

The latest data compares averages for 2006-2008 - a period covering the start of the credit crunch in 2007 - with those for 2008-2010.

Surprisingly, it shows that overall wealth has increased.

According to the Wealth in Great Britain report, total household wealth in 2008-2010 amounted to [pounds sterling]10.3trillion.

This is a rise of [pounds sterling]1.2trillion - about 12.9 per cent - on the [pounds sterling]9.1trillion figure for 2006-2008.

Total household wealth for Scotland alone in 2008-2010 was [pounds sterling]810billion - 7.9 per cent of the British total.

Average household wealth for Britain as a whole rose by a similar proportion - about 12.3 per cent, from [pounds sterling]373,497 to [pounds sterling]419,492.

But in Scotland, average household wealth rose only about 5.5 per cent, from [pounds sterling]335,300 to [pounds sterling]353,687.

Only the North-East of England now has a lower average, at [pounds sterling]321,970. The region with the highest average household wealth is the South-East of England, at [pounds sterling]562,139.

Worryingly, the ONS report also shows that across Great Britain, 64 per cent of people were not paying in to a private pension in 2008-10 - with 42 per cent of adults having no private pension savings at all.

While homeowners have benefited from a record low interest rate, making mortgage repayments more affordable, the cost of living has soared.

Last month, separate research showed Scots families were enduring the worst economic conditions in a decade.

A Scottish Widows survey found three out of four Scots are finding family life far tougher than they did ten years ago.

Scottish Labour enterprise spokesman Rhoda Grant said: 'Scotland's economic growth is flatlining under the SNP. …