Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) Publication: FOI release

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

Information requested

You asked for the following information relating to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) publication:
1. Why the massive difference between official HMRC statistics and GERS?
2. Is it intended to cancel GERS 2020?


I will respond to each of your questions in turn:

1. GERS and HMRC figures are not directly comparable, as they are presented on a different basis.
Any analysis of public sector receipts in Scotland relies on estimation, and as such alternativeestimates are possible. GERS estimates revenue using a set of apportionment methodologies, refined over a number of years following consultation with, and feedback from, users.
In most cases, the estimates in GERS and the HMRC publication are very similar. However, across all taxes, there will be differences as HMRC report on a cash basis and GERS reports on an accruals basis.
Furthermore, for some taxes, there are definitional differences which mean that the figures in the two publications should not be directly compared. For example, within GERS gross VAT receipts are shown before the deduction of government VAT refunds, whilst HMRC figures present net VAT receipts after the deduction of these refunds.

2. GERS is currently scheduled to be published in August 2020. Any change to the publication date will be announced to users in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics. Updates regarding forthcoming publications can be found here:

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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