GERS day 2: after the hullaballoo

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).

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August 22, 2019

Back to school for GERS 2019

Along with the fun of buying new school shoes, August as usual will see the annual publication of the GERS statistics. GERS is scheduled for publication at 9.30 on Wednesday 21st August 2019.

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August 15, 2019

Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland: 2017-18

As we flagged in our blog last week, today sees the publication of the latest Government Expenditure and Revenue (GERS) report.

This blog summarises some of the key headline results.

Some background

GERS estimates the contribution of public sector revenue raised in Scotland toward the public sector goods and services provided for the benefit of Scotland. The estimates typically cause significant controversy, and our blog highlighted some of the usual areas of debate.

These arguments are not going to go away, but the GERS figures present the most reasonable approximation to help us understand the nature and extent of public spending and revenue in Scotland in the latest financial year.Continue reading

August 22, 2018

GERS day 2018

Next week (Wednesday 22nd August) will see the annual publication of the GERS statistics.

As usual, it’ll no doubt spark a frenzied debate about Scotland’s finances and the prospects for constitutional change. If you can’t bear the hullabaloo and choose to avoid social media for a week here’s a quick summary:

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August 17, 2018