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Home Publications Spending on public services higher in Scotland, but may face greater cuts under independence

Spending on public services higher in Scotland, but may face greater cuts under independence

Press release
Total public spending was around 11% higher per person in Scotland than in the UK as a whole in 2011-12, the latest year for which official statistics are available. Within this, spending on benefits and tax credits was only a little higher in Scotland, but spending per person on public services was almost 17% above the UK average. Like the UK government, the government of a Scotland independent from 2016 would face difficult choices about how much to spend on public services. If it had to deliver a fiscal tightening equivalent to that planned by the UK government, spending cuts or tax rises of about £2.5 billion in today’s terms would be required during its first two years.