Financial Reflections: Blog Round-up

Our fellows have been hard at work bringing you rigorous, impartial analysis of the conclusions drawn by the Scottish Government and HM Treasury in their separate reports this week.

In his blog, Charlie Jeffery discusses how the two reports got to the heart of the debate, in which voters’ perceptions of their personal financial wellbeing are likely to influence their decision-making processes. He describes the state of the campaign as the ‘hot phase’ in which each side is ‘trying to quantify the cash impact for ordinary Scots of voting Yes or No in September’.

Gemma Tetlow and Rowena Crawford of the Institute for Fiscal Studies discuss the role of oil predictions in the different conclusions published by the two governments. In the same vein, Professor David Bell from the University of Stirling investigates the way in which institutions forecast oil revenues, noting the importance of this data for the undecided voter. 

David Eiser examines the costs and financial prospects as set out by the two papers, working to unpack the different conclusions drawn by each. He notes that the results may be less influential for voters, ‘the stark differences between the conclusions of the reports means that they will probably not influence voters to a major degree. Instead, voters are likely either to dismiss both reports as propaganda, or to use one or other of the reports to confirm their own pre-held views’.

David McCollum of the ESRC Centre for Population Change looks at the both governments’ assumptions about migration to Scotland, noting that while both reports acknowledge the demographic challenges faced by Scotland, ‘the Scottish Government could perhaps be open to the charge of being overly optimistic in its assumptions whereas the UK Government could be seen as overly pessimistic in its predictions’

Angus Armstrong reflects on the implications of projections made by HM Treasury and the Scottish Government for the 'dismal science' of economics.

In a guest blog from the LSE’s British Politics and Policy blog, Professor Patrick Dunleavy of the London School of Economics shares his thoughts on the controversy around the use of his work by HM Treasury. In the blog, he notes the need for better communication between policy makers and academics.

In a guest post, Robert Young responds to the use of his work in the debate by the UK and Scottish Governments on the set-up costs of independence. He speaks to the transaction costs facing an independent Scotland, concluding that there would be short-term transaction costs but that they are largely unknowable given the need for negotiation and the potential for cooperation. 


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Coree Brown Swan's picture
University of Edinburgh
30th May 2014
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