Tuesday, 15 September 2009
My contribution to the "National Consternation"
There is a big conversation going on, I'm told - although as I mentioned before it wasn't exactly the hot topic when I wrote this blog entry. But it has been picked up, brushed off and given a wee clean for this parliamentary term and you can participate here; that is if scrawling your bytes on the already overcrowded Internet wall can be defined as 'participation'...
I stand by my previous comment "not so much a conversation as shouting at an empty room", devolution is the SNP's raison d'etre and dissenting voices are not welcome.
Anyhoo - thought it would be worth reminding myself, nationalists and dithering ex unionists just how precarious a state Scotland would be in if the SNP's 2007 election victory had actually heralded the start of Scottish independence.
Public Sector employment in Scotland, swollen by our share of the new "Public Sector Financial Institutions" now stands at 25%.
Income tax revenue raised in Scotland stands at £10 billion, over 25% of which is paid by aforementioned public sector workers - so in effect just a fiscal discount.
Other tax revenue amounts to an additional £25billion.
Oil revenue stands at £1-12 Billion; incidentally any of you adherents to the "Oil would have made Scotland wealthy" argument really should take the time to read this well buried government "Background Paper" - so no real contribution since 1975 then?
At this point Scotland is in deficit, or on a good "Oil Price" year maybe a little in the black - based on the current devolved Scottish budget of £33billion.
Bailout of RBS and our share of the bailout of the Hydra like "Lloyds TSB BoS Halifax"? The total cost of this to the UK is expected to be £500billion to £1.5trillion. Apart from the obvious arithmetical inconsistency of attributing say just 10% of that cost to Scotland (they were Scottish banks after all) let's just do that - so can we agree on a cost of £50-£150billion to an independent Scotland as a starting point surely?
Our share of military spending, let's say £3.3billion. Other non-devolved costs, of which there are many, we'll leave aside.
As for the fiscal stimulus, who knows what an independent Scotland's post-industrial, public sector heavy and financial sector dominated economy would have cost in addition to the bank bailout. Pointless "busted flush" economics I think...
At this point we are having a pissing contest with Iceland and Ireland to see who has the biggest overdraft, and begging for help - perhaps from the English, in an ironic echo of the Darien scheme.
All hail New Caledonia !