Economy

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Scotland Institute publishes report on Scotland's share of the UK's debt

The Scotland Institute has issued a report authored by Jonathan Price titled Debt and Destiny: An assessment of an independent Scotland’s fair share of the United Kingdom’s national debt and the impact it could have on Scotland’s future.

The report attempts to address the lack of discussion around Scotland's share of the UK's debt in the event of independence. The institute's chairman Dr Azeem Ibrahim notes in a blog on Scots Politics that:

What set-up costs would an independent Scotland face? The debate continues.

The work of LSE'S Professor Patrick Dunleavy was cited in a HM Treasury report on the set-up costs of an independent Scotland. In a blog for LSE British Politics and Policy, Professor Dunleavy challenged the use of his work, focused on the cost of setting up or substantially revamping a Whitehall department, saying:

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Reindustrialising Scotland for the 21st Century: A Sustainable Industrial Strategy for a Modern, Independent Nation

The Scottish Government set out in Scotland’s Future and Building Security and Creating Opportunity: Economic Policy Opportunities in an Independent Scotland how the full economic policy levers of independence could be used to create a more successful and fairer economy.

This paper builds on a key theme set out in both reports - the objective of rebalancing and reindustrialising the Scottish economy.

IFS: Spending cuts or tax increases would be needed to pay for Independence White Paper giveaways

New calculations – based on forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) – suggest that an independent Scotland would face a budget deficit of 5.5% of GDP (£8.6 billion in today’s terms) in its first year of independence were it to inherit a population share of the UK’s national debt. This would not be sustainable for any prolonged period. Any upside surprise on oil revenues would help, for a while, but as recent experience demonstrates, these revenues can also disappoint.

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