Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland (GERS) Social protection: FOI release

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

Information requested

You claim UK Government spent £18 billion on Social protection in Scotland GERS - 2018-19 table 3.8

Does this sum include the £1.6 billion of tax credits paid at source in Scotland via the 'wage packet' and therefore never received by UK Government to pay out?
If so can the figure of £18 billion be reduced to it's true figure of £16.4 billion 'paid out by UK Government'?


Figures in Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland (GERS) are consistent with the European System of Accounts 2010. This ensures that government revenue and expenditure is reported on an internationally consistent basis, to allow for comparisons with other countries.
In general, tax credits are included in social protection expenditure in GERS. 
However, where this expenditure is associated with tax credits that are not directly paid out by government an offsetting adjustment is made to increase income tax revenue, so that the net fiscal balance is unaffected. As such, if these tax credits were removed from social protection expenditure, they would also need to be removed from income tax receipts. However, making this change would make the presentation inconsistent with the international reporting standards discussed above.

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