Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish deficit and independence questions: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
1 Nov 2019
Scottish deficit and independence questions: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02287
Date received: 7 Oct 2019
Date responded: 31 Oct 2019
Information requested

You asked for:
i) the current Scottish deficit
ii) how the Scottish government would reduce the deficit if it became independent
iii) current Scottish GERS data
iv) what would Scotland do with trident if it became independent - any plans, or documents, or reports to that nature’.

Response

Dealing with each part of your question in turn:

i) The current Scottish deficit:
The answer to your question is that the Scottish Government does not have a deficit: the Budget (Scotland) Act for each year, and subsequent in-year revisions, deliver a balanced budget.

ii) How the Scottish government would reduce the deficit if it became independent
Scotland’s fiscal position under independence would depend on a number of factors, including the level of spending Scotland chose to allocate to areas such as defence, which may be different from current UK Government policy.
The Scottish Government produced a comprehensive plan for an independent Scotland in 2014 (see: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20170701234817/http:/www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/11/9348).
In the Programme for Government 2019/20, published on 3 September, the Government announced it will now undertake the necessary work to update that plan and ensure that people have the information they need to make informed choices over the future of the country.
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

iii) Current Scottish GERS data
the information you have requested is available from: https://www.gov.scot/publications/government-expenditure-revenue-scotland-gers/ Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

iv) what would Scotland do with trident if it became independent - any plans, or documents, or reports to that nature’.
In its comprehensive plan for an independent Scotland in 2014, the Scottish Government set out its views on Trident (see: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20170701234817/http:/www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/11/9348
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG