How are Scottish earnings performing relative to the UK?

In recent months we have seen relatively strong headline labour market indicators in both Scotland and the UK.

But this only tells part of the story. The types of jobs being created, the levels of security and prospects they provide, and crucially the earnings received are just as important.

UK data has shown that the strong growth in employment has been accompanied by a squeeze in real earnings.

Data on earnings for Scotland is much harder to come by. But this week we had the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) publication which gives some insight into earnings in Scotland.

This blog summarises the headline results for April 2017 and what they could be telling us about the health of the Scottish labour market.

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Land value taxation: some issues

Sam MacArthur is a fourth year undergraduate economics student at the University of Strathclyde and had a summer internship in the Fraser of Allander Institute supported by the Carnegie Trust. This blog summarises some of Sam’s research from last summer into some of the issues around land value tax.


The Scottish Government recently released their Programme for Government 2017-2018, ‘A Nation with Ambition’, which reiterated their commitment to land reform.

Consequently, the newly formed Scottish Land Commission have been tasked –among other things- with carrying out and commissioning research into “a range of radical options for further land reform in Scotland, including the potential for a land value tax”.

In recent years, calls for a land value tax (LVT) have moved into the mainstream of political debate in Scotland, driven by perceived criticisms of the current system of local taxation, the Council Tax. One concern with fundamentally reforming the existing system is a concern about the potential impact of this change on different household types across Scotland. The lack of detailed analysis on this point is hindering fuller debate.

This blog reports on some work I undertook while completing a Carnegie Vacation Scholarship at the Fraser of Allander Institute this summer. It begins by briefly reviewing some conceptual issues in implementing local taxation, before moving to consider how (in principal) we might produce some estimates of land values.

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