Monday, November 19, 2012
Scottish independence: more fiscal questions than answers
Posted by David Smith at 09:05 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has undertaken a useful exercise in the fiscal consequences of Scottish independence. Anybody who was expecting a clear-cut answer, however, will be disappointed.

The broad conclusion is that Scotland could finance its higher public spending (1,200 a head higher) in the short-term if it has a geographical share of North Sea revenues - i.e. most of them - but would face hard choices in the longer term as these revenues decline.

That assumes an independent Scotland would get a geographical share of those revenues, which is far from guaranteed. The IFS also concedes that the future state of the UK's public finances are far from certain. Its report is here.