This briefing note aims to describe the patterns of public service expenditure in Scotland and to set out a number of issues for the future. In particular, it:
- describes the big picture for public spending in Scotland and compares the amount spent with that in the rest of the UK;
- examines how the amount spent on different service areas compares with the average for the UK as a whole and sets out some causes and consequences of these differences;
- looks at how spending on different public services has changed over time;
- discusses the options and issues in public service spending if Scotland were to vote for independence.