GERS, Scottish Economy

GERS 2020: Socially distance yourself from the myths and furore

It’s GERS week! Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) 2019-20 will be published by the Scottish Government on Wednesday 26th August 2020 at 9.30 am. To celebrate this high profile publication, Graeme Roy, the Director of the Institute is joined by Mairi Spowage, the Deputy Director to talk about GERS, what it is, and try to dispel some of the myths that surround it. To accompany this podcast, we have published a GERS guide on our website for you to read through to see all the myths and issues discussed at length. Enjoy this annual ritual in Scottish political debate…

Graeme Roy, Fraser of Allander Institute

Mairi Spowage, Fraser of Allander Institute


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(00:58) What is GERS?

(03:00) The history of GERS

(05:15) What does it mean that GERS is an “accredited” National Statistics publication

(08:22) The evolution of GERS in terms of quality of methods

(11:04) What does it mean that some of the figures in GERS are estimated?

(20:51) What are the controversial spending elements?

(23:45) What have recent issues been about the interpretation of GERS?

(25:58) Should GERS do more to compare to other regions of the UK rather than the UK as a whole?

(29:40) GERS and the constitutional debate


Picture of Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute
Graeme Roy

Dean of External Engagement in the College of Social Sciences at Glasgow University and previously director of the Fraser of Allander Institute.

Mairi is the Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute. Previously, she was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Head of National Accounts at the Scottish Government and has over a decade of experience working in different areas of statistics and analysis.