Contribution of Scotland to the Exchequer, p.41.

[Scotland’s Scrap Contents]

For some years an annual return was published by the Government. Since the year 1921 this publication has been discontinued, in spite of protests by Scottish representatives. The total for the year 1920-21 were as follows: 

Revenue contributed by Scotland £119,753,000 
Expenditure on Scottish Services 33,096,000 
Balance retained in London for “Imperial Services” 86,657,000 

Aberdeen Press and Journal, 7th Feb, 1922, p.5. 

   Further Official figures of Scotland’s contribution to the Exchequer are given in the White Paper, “Revenue and Expenditure (England and Wales and Scotland), 1952/53” (Cmd. 9501). This gives a total revenue from Scotland of £409,694,000, which may be compared, for example, with Denmark’s revenue for the same period of £130 millions and Norway’s revenue of £183 millions (year to 30/6/52). Thus Scotland’s revenue exceeded by not far short of £100,000,000 the combined revenues of Norway and Denmark (whose combined population is 7,787,500 to Scotland’s 5,095,969), and it is not unreasonable to ask whether she obtains correspondingly greater benefits from this vast outlay. 

   The Treasury’s figure for expenditure on the Scottish services is £207,060,000, leaving a balance towards “General” United Kingdom expenditure of £202,634,000. Unfortunately it is not known how much of this £202 million odd comes back to Scotland, but probably at least £80 millions represents a net drain of money out of Scotland on Government account, or much more than a population share of overseas expenditure, the balance representing in effect a subsidy by Scotland of England’s economy. 

   More information is available in the pamphlet Money from Scotland – Scotland’s Revenue and Expenditure, by James A. A. Porteous (August, 1954). The best general account is in Scotland the Wealthy Nation, by Archie Lamont (Scottish Secretariat, 1952), available from libraries. 

   Scotland’s revenue (1970) is probably about £1,200 million, but see “The Scotsman,” 29/10/1969 for discussion. 

   Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product had declined by 1960 to 8.7 per cent. of that of the U.K. This suggests Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product may be in 1970 about £3,500 million. Increase of Scottish G.D.P seems to be about half as fast as in Norway, Finland and Denmark (D. Simpson, “Scottish Independence,” 1969). 

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