Economy

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Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century was an improbable blockbuster. Dense with data and dotted with equations, it took the 2008-9 financial crisis, the subsequent austerity measures and growing concerns about rising inequality to propel this weighty work to the top of the bestsellers lists. However, it provides a useful backdrop to the general election and the parties’ approaches to wealth. 
 
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The latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report published yesterday presented Scotland’s public sector accounts until 2013/14. It showed that Scotland had a net fiscal deficit (i.e. a gap between government spending and tax revenues) of £12.4bn in 2013/14. Expressed as a percentage of GDP and including a geographic share of North Sea oil revenues, this represents a deficit of 8.1%.
 
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David Eiser asks how much difference do economic arguments make to people’s attitudes and voting intentions? 

Whether the issue was currency choice, the affordability of future policy proposals, or the policy options available to a small, open economy in a globalised world, economic arguments were at the heart of Scotland’s referendum debate. 

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