How bad would Scotland’s economy be if it left the UK?

Tim Worstall at Forbes writes:

The economic numbers for haven’t added up for some decades now, that’s why the English have had to subsidise the place for so long. Given the various talk about a second independence referendum and the possibility of Scotland leaving the Union that is the UK a new attempt has been made at totting up quite how badly the numbers do work out. And the answer is that the gap between spending and taxation is so vast that Scotland would be, effectively, bust as a government and rectifying that would entail cuts of such magnitude as to produce a Greek-style depression in the country.

Yep, that bad. The numbers are:

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) forecast the gap between public spending and taxes raised will hit an “unsustainable” 9.4 per cent of GDP in 2017-18.

This is more than three times a prediction for the rest of the UK as a whole at 3 per cent and follows the dramatic collapse in oil revenues.

Douglas McWilliams, the think-tank’s chief executive, also said if Scotland were independent today the deficit would be even higher at 12 per cent.

So what would Scotland have to do:

Because of Keynesian multiplier effects, there would need to be cuts of about 15 per cent of GDP. That’s roughly on the scale of what has happened in Greece, which has led to a fall in GDP of a quarter

That would be a depression on par with the Great Depression.

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