Sunday, September 21, 2014

Scots Vote to Keep Hands in English Pockets

As somebody, somewhere pointed out, Scotland trying to secede from the UK is not analogous to Texas seceding from the US because it's too liberal, but more like Oregon or Washington state seceding because the rest of the country is too conservative. Scotland is to a large extent the cold, wet extension of the welfare state into the arctic waste. They even liked to think of themselves as splitting off to form a Scandahoovian social democracy.  But how to pay for it?

Scots each get £1,600 more state cash a year spent on them than the English
The gulf in state spending between Scotland and England has hit a record £1,600 per head. Government spending in Scotland averaged £10,212 per person last year – £1,624 per head more than in England.

The staggering figures, buried in Treasury documents, reveal the gap increased by more than 15 per cent in only a year.
. . .
Scots receive a range of services free of charge, including prescriptions, long-term care for the elderly and university tuition – all of which attract hefty charges in England.

Subsidising these services costs every family south of the border £420 a year.

Tory MP David Mowat said the Government's refusal to tackle the issue was ‘indefensible’. He added: ‘It is right that the Scottish government can set its own priorities and if it wants to prioritise free prescriptions, for example, that is fine. But it is not right that they end up with an extra £1,600 per person to pay for it.

‘This is quite wrong and will rightly cause indignation in England. Many MPs are having to defend deeply unpopular cuts. We do so on the basis that there is no alternative and that the deficit must be brought down.
Of course, one big source was to be North Sea oil, but that has peaked, and is fading relatively fast. I have no doubt but that where there's conventional oil, there's shale oil deeper available by fracking, but that's probably verboten to the liberal environmental crew expecting to take over if Scots voted to separate from the UK. Solar power is not a viable option in northern, cloudy Scotland, and wind power has yet to prove really economical anywhere without subsidies.

I guess they just decided staying was a better deal.

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