Scot­land’s eco­nom­ics

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Advertiser View -

Dear Edi­tor, Ron­nie Wright [Ad­ver­tiser View, Novem­ber 14] seems to lack am­bi­tion for Scot­land.

Scot­land is a rich and suc­cess­ful na­tion, in the top 25 global economies in terms of in­come per head, and ranks near the top of the UK on most long-term in­di­ca­tors.

We are en­ergy-rich and have a skilled, ed­u­cated work­force, world rep­u­ta­tion in food and drink prod­ucts, and world-class univer­si­ties.

Scot­land is at the cut­ting edge of games tech­nol­ogy, pho­ton­ics, life sciences, ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing and in­dus­tries of the fu­ture.

De­spite such ad­van­tages, Scot­land is not per­form­ing as well as other in­de­pen­dent coun­tries which are free to tai­lor eco­nomic pol­icy to suit their own needs.

The me­dian in­come for the 12 small economies of Aus­tria, Bel­gium, Den­mark, Fin­land, Hong Kong, Ire­land, the Nether­lands, New Zealand, Nor­way, Sin­ga­pore, Swe­den and Switzer­land is 14 per cent higher in GDP – a gap of £4100 per per­son.

Small economies per­form bet­ter than larger ones, by 0.7 per­cent­age points per year over the past 25 years on av­er­age.

Dis­ap­point­ingly, Mr Wright prefers the model where all UK re­gions ex­cept London and the south-east have a fis­cal gap with Scot­land.

Is he happy with Scot­land as a pe­riph­eral re­gion of the UK, with an in­creas­ingly el­derly pop­u­la­tion? (Ire­land and Ice­land have each dou­bled their pop­u­la­tions since in­de­pen­dence).

No-one is dis­put­ing the Gov­ern­ment Ex­pen­di­ture and Rev­enue fig­ures. They sim­ply re­flect the fact that all the civil ser­vants, White­hall de­part­ments and de­fence es­tab­lish­ments con­cen­trate in south-east Eng­land.

When Scot­land be­comes in­de­pen­dent we will have our own civil ser­vants pay­ing their taxes to Ed­in­burgh. Cllr Tom John­ston, de­pute leader, North La­nark­shire SNP group

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