I’m indebted to the eminently followable Lindsay Bruce for drawing my attention to this data. Look at the ONS table which Lindsay found:
It’s clear that the simple Scotland vs England comparison used by GERS and much-loved by our media distorts the picture with the inclusion of the overheated economies of London and the South-East, and that Scotland’s ‘deficit’, if you want to play the game for the moment of accepting GERS, as the Scottish Government seems to be, is in the middle range for the different parts of the UK. That London and the South-East have a huge surplus while the other parts have a deficit is testimony to the laissez-faire economics of successive UK governments and the consequently unhealthy concentration of economic resources in a small, overcrowded, polluted and unliveable for most, corner of the UK.
When I saw this, I was reminded of previous reports I’ve written which similarly expose the problems of comparing Scotland’s economy with that of the much larger and more complex economy of England: