Every year when GERS is published, there is a new angle that seems to gain traction and ignite a debate about the accuracy of the figures.
This year’s is a rather misguided interpretation of the notional net fiscal balance produced in GERS.
These have been variations on:
- How can 8% of the UK population be responsible for more than 50% of the deficit?
- And/or how can the Welsh and Scottish deficits add up to more than the UK?
The easiest way to think about this is to consider all 12 areas of the UK together. ONS produces GERS style figures for all 12 “NUTS 1” areas (so Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the 9 regions of England).