Scotland generates more in tax than rest of the UK


New analysis by the Scottish Government of Scotland’s financial strength shows that the amount of tax revenues generated per person in Scotland is greater than in the rest of the UK in each of the last thirty years.

In the last year, Scotland contributed £56.9 billion in tax revenue, including a geographical share of North Sea revenue, equivalent to £10,700 per person, compared to £9000 per person for the UK as a whole.

Taken over the last 30 years, back to 1980-81, tax revenue per person in Scotland has been £1350 a year higher than in the UK as a whole, when adjusted for inflation.

In total, the analysis shows that in 2011-12 prices Scotland has contributed £222 billion more in tax revenues since 1980-81 than if we had simply matched the per capita contributions of the UK.

The research forms part of a detailed analysis to be published shortly of Scotland’s long running financial position. Figures released earlier this week showed that pension and welfare costs are more affordable in Scotland than in the UK and much of the EU 15, taking up a lower share of our national wealth.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

“These figures confirm what we have known all along – Scotland more than pays her way in the UK.  They show that the average tax receipt per person in Scotland has been higher in each of the last thirty years than it has been across the UK as a whole.

“Over the last thirty years, people in Scotland have contributed an average of £1,350 more each year than across the UK as a whole, or £222 billion extra in taxes.

“With the full control of our finances we could have invested this money for the people of Scotland, creating jobs and investing in public services.

“This is also a clear illustration of what can be gained in the future with independence.  North Sea reserves remain substantial, with more than half the wholesale value still to be extracted.  Scotland has a vibrant and growing renewable energy sector and key industries that will continue to grow in the future.  With responsibility for our own finances and our own vast natural resources, we would be able to put these additional revenues to use in Scotland’s  best interests. 

“With access to the full revenues, including these higher annual revenues, we could pursue economic policies that are tailored to our needs and do not squander our natural resources. 

“Alongside analysis showing that pensions and welfare costs are more affordable in Scotland, as a share of our economy than they are in the UK or much of the EU 15, our financial strength is crystal clear.

“Independence, would allow us to use our fiscal levers to suit our own economic circumstances and maximise Scotland’s potential to secure new investment and jobs.”