Scottish independence

In September 2014, the people of Scotland went to the polls to vote on whether to remain part of the UK or to become an independent country. In the run-up to the referendum, researchers at IFS examined how taxation, spending and long-run fiscal balance differed between Scotland and the UK as a whole and what the implications of this might have been for an independent Scotland.

The Scottish NHS - more financially secure outside the UK?

| Observations

The future of the welfare state, and particularly of the NHS, has taken centre stage in the Scottish independence debate in recent days. Given the political rhetoric, there is a clear need for some impartial analysis. In this observation we try to set out some of the facts on both recent changes in NHS spending in England and Scotland, and the prospects for the future whether Scotland is in or out of the Union. Our analysis suggests it is unlikely that independence would make it easier to find additional money for the NHS.

Find out more

Taxing an independent Scotland

| Journal Articles

In this paper we consider the consequences of independence for the optimal design of a new Scottish tax system, an analysis which would also be of some relevance for considering the consequences for tax design of independence of other smaller nations.

Find out more

What would the picture for the Scottish Government’s finances be if Scotland votes yes? What if Scotland votes no?

| Book Chapters

The outlook for the public finances of an independent Scotland is a key battleground in the referendum debate. Why? Because ultimately it affects how much money individuals and families will have in their pockets, and the quality and quantity of public services they can enjoy in the years ahead.

Find out more