Fiscal Policy

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The Scottish electorate is sophisticated, distinguishing between voting at different levels of election. While this has led to divergence in party support at different levels (though this might be about to change), the bulk of that vote tends towards the centre-left.   
 
Scotland is not inherently more left-wing than England. It does, however, tend to vote more consistently for social democratic parties. This makes the question of Scotland’s political economy pertinent.
 
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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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Based on ten months of meetings and interviews, the Institute for Government has unveiled its findings in to the state of relations between the administrations in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. Robyn Munro, co-author of the report, outlines their findings.

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