AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would have the second highest fiscal deficit of all the world’s advanced economies in its first year, new analysis by the Treasury has calculated.
Only the US would have a deficit that, as a proportion of GDP, was higher than in Scotland.The new nation would be hit with a £9.5bn or £1,760 per head deficit in 2016-17, according to Treasury officials using International Monetary Fund figures. This is over £1,000 per head more than is forecast for the UK.
The deficit would be the equivalent of 5.5 per cent of GDP, only very slightly below the expected level in the US.
Broadly speaking, the fiscal deficit is the difference between government spending and government income. In order to estimate a future deficit of an independent Scottish government, you need to make all sorts of assumptions about the levels of spending and about the levels of income. Even if these could be assessed as realistic (and who in turn could pronounce them to be so?), the result is the difference between two very large figures, an outcome which is of its nature extremely variable. And citing per head figures is utterly ridiculous.
Such an exercise is doomed to be futile.