Magazine article Public Finance

Doubts Raised over Scots Overspend

Magazine article Public Finance

Doubts Raised over Scots Overspend

Article excerpt

A controversial Scottish Executive report showing that Scotland has an £11.2bn funding 'black hole' might have contained an error over the level of public spending, chief economist Andrew Goudie admitted this week.

He was giving evidence at the start of an inquiry being held by the Holyrood Parliament's finance committee into the recently published Government expenditure and revenue Scotland report, which revealed that public spending in Scotland in 2004/05 was £11.2bn more than the amount it raised in tax income.

With the Scottish elections less than four months away and the Scottish National Party pushing ahead of Labour in the opinion polls, the report has become the subject of intense controversy over whether Scotland could stand alone as an independent country.

Giving evidence to the finance committee on January 16, Goudie admitted that the document contained estimates that had to be treated with caution. But he stressed that, given the resources available, the estimates were the best he and his officials could provide and that the findings gave a 'broad picture' of the Treasury's 'fiscal transfer' to Scotland.

However, he conceded that a recent report by two independent economists, Jim and Margaret Cuthbert, had disclosed a £440m overestimate in the level of public spending that had to be investigated. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.