INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
GERS 2013-14 estimates public sector revenue and expenditure for Scotland for the years 2009-10 to 2013-14 under the current constitutional arrangements. Particular focus is given to 2013-14, the latest fiscal year for which outturns of revenue and expenditure are available. All figures are in current prices. New for this year's GERS, time series for most tables are presented on the website back to 1998-99, to make GERS consistent with other economic statistics outputs produced by the Scottish Government.
Following changes to the UK Public Sector Finances made by the ONS in September 2014, the GERS estimates of Scotland's public sector finances are presented consistent with the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010). Figures are therefore not directly comparable with previous publications. This publication provides a consistent time series from 2009-10, and the longer time series available on the GERS website back to 1998-99 is also on this basis.
On the ESA10 basis, public revenue, expenditure, and GDP are higher than previously estimated. This has led to revisions to Scotland's fiscal aggregates in all years. In addition, the estimates of public spending in Scotland in the Country and Regional Analysis (CRA) data published by HM Treasury, a key data source used in GERS, have been revised, to update them with the latest outturn figures published by the Scottish Government, which were not previously available. This has led to further revisions, particularly in 2012-13. These revisions are unrelated to the ESA10 changes. A detailed outline of the revisions contained in this publication can be found in Annex C.
The outline below provides a brief overview of the chapters contained in the publication.
Chapter 1: Scotland's Public Sector Accounts
Chapter 1 provides a summary of estimated public sector revenue in and expenditure for Scotland between 2009-10 and 2013-14. It contains an estimate of total current and capital expenditure by the public sector for Scotland and an estimate of total revenue raised. It also includes an estimate of the current budget balance (i.e. current revenue less current expenditure and capital consumption) and the overall net fiscal balance (i.e. total current revenue less total managed expenditure).
Chapter 2: Devolution of Revenue and Expenditure
This is a new chapter for GERS. In response to user demand, the aim of this chapter is to clearly set out the amount of revenue and spending functions being transferred to the Scottish Parliament as part of the Scotland Act, and under the current Smith Commission proposals.
Chapter 3: Public Sector Revenue
Chapter 3 presents a detailed discussion of public sector revenue raised in Scotland and compares the estimated figures for Scotland with those for the UK. As Chapter 4 provides a detailed discussion of North Sea revenue, the focus of this chapter is on all other elements of public sector revenue. The revenue analysis in GERS uses the same definitions as the ONS Public Sector Finance Statistics.
Chapter 4: North Sea Revenue
Chapter 4 discusses the treatment of fiscal revenue from the North Sea. A range of estimates of Scotland's share of North Sea revenue are provided, together with their impact on total public sector revenue in Scotland.
Chapter 5: Public Sector Expenditure
Chapter 5 presents a detailed discussion of public sector expenditure for Scotland and compares and contrasts the estimated figures for Scotland with those for the UK.
The expenditure analysis in GERS is consistent with the approach HM Treasury and the ONS take to estimate public sector expenditure in the UK. Total expenditure is divided into current and capital expenditure. Current expenditure includes items such as public sector wages and social security payments. Capital expenditure largely comprises the development of public sector infrastructure, either new construction or significant renovation to existing infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals.
Annex A: Revenue Methodology
Annex A provides a brief summary of the various methodologies that have been applied to estimate public sector revenue in Scotland. A more detailed revenue methodology paper is available on the GERS website which provides a full discussion of the estimation techniques applied for each revenue source.
Annex B: Expenditure Methodology
Annex B provides a brief summary of the various methodologies that have been applied to estimate public sector expenditure for Scotland. It also highlights where the data contained in GERS differ from those in the underlying CRA database. More detailed analysis is also available on the GERS website.
Annex C: Revisions
Annex C provides a summary of the extent and nature of the revisions to the previous estimates of revenue, expenditure, and balances between this edition of GERS and GERS 2012-13.
Email: Mairi Spowage