Briefing Note (BN140)

Government spending on public services in Scotland: current patterns and future issues

Date: 19 September 2013
ISBN: 978-1-909463-12-7
DOI: 10.1920/BN.IFS.2012.00140

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.