The Scottish Conservatives are demanding that the Scottish Government finally publish figures on the impact of full fiscal autonomy – and disclose what this would mean for Scotland’s finances.
At a debate in the Scottish Parliament today, 1st April, the SNP will be asked to publish their analysis on full fiscal autonomy, as well as updated oil and gas projections.
The SNP have repeatedly said that their goal is for Scotland to have full fiscal autonomy. However, experts have warned that to achieve this there would need to be massive spending cuts, a hike in taxes or radically increased borrowing – none of which options are responsible or vote catchers.
Figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggest that Scotland’s projected deficit in 2015/16 is now 4.6% of GDP higher than that for the UK as a whole.
In cash terms this is equivalent to a gap of £7.6 billion – ironically a figure akin to the amount the SNP predicted Scotland would earn annually from the tax take on the oil and gas sector’s activities in the North Sea.
Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown MSP says: ‘The public deserve to know the full impact of what fiscal autonomy would mean for Scotland.
‘That’s why we’re saying to the SNP, come on, let’s see your figures.
‘Scotland’s projected deficit for this year is now higher than the UK as a whole. This is unacceptable.
‘In the run up to the general election it’s important that the public know the full facts on public spending – the SNP have ducked this for far too long.’