From The Tax Payers' Alliance report:
Identifiable public spending per head in England is £7,535 pa (2007-08). But in Scotland it is 22 per cent (£1,644) higher, Wales 14 per cent (£1,042) higher, and Northern Ireland an extraordinary 30 per cent (£2,254) higher.
Just over the last two decades (since 1985-86), higher spending in the three devolved territories has cost UK taxpayers a cumulative £200 billion (£102 billion in Scotland; £43 billion in Wales; £57 billion in Northern Ireland).
North Sea Oil has not funded the Scottish spending gap, despite Scottish Nationalist claims to the contrary. In only five of the last 23 years have North Sea Oil receipts exceeded the cost of higher funding paid to Scotland. Even with current high oil prices, the income from the Scottish share of North Sea Oil only just covers the spending gap, and North Sea Oil output is projected to fall by 50 per cent by 2020.
Of course, on comments threads across the Blogosphere various Scots folk are screeching "That's not fair! We're subsidising YOU!! How dare YOU!"
One desperate soul even comes up with the following little gem:
Does the formula take into consideration the tax and national insurance contributions from the Welsh Scottish and Northern Irish natives who live and contribute to the English economy?
Er, so contributions paid by Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish people domiciled in England should be counted as Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish funding, should it? Perhaps the same should apply to English people domiciled in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
But what if, like Chris, you have one English parent and one Scots parent? Ower, Missus!!
Perhaps Scots, Welsh and Irish contributions paid by those who live in England should be sent back home?
Potty! If you opt to live in England, you opt to live in England.
Of course, controversy rages most over the North Sea Oil.
"IT'S OURS!!" screech some very vocal Scots.
Well, actually it isn't. Since the Act Of Union with England, Scotland has benefited hugely. The first act was England bailing Scotland out of bankrupcy. Then the Scots became overly-involved in the Empire, and various subsidies have seen Scotland taking an unfair wedge of the cake ever since.
"But this part of England subsidises that part of England!" some Scots scream, failing to see that as England is a nation in its own right (or should be) it's none of their damn business!
Then there was the Continental Shelf Act of the late 1960s, which allocated formerly English waters to a "Scottish Sector". At the time, it seemed that the "UK" was going to benefit AS the UK from the North Sea Oil revenue. But that has not been the case. The English were not consulted about gifting some of their natural resources to Scotland, Scots MPs were involved in the decision (surprise, surprise!), so obviously the Continental Shelf Act needs examining and the maritime border needs restoring to its pre-1960s state.
The fact that the oil is a bone of contention at all surprises us - it goes against the grain of what the UK was supposed to be about in the first place.
The Tax Payers' Alliance Report is very important indeed.
The people of England must stand firm against the illogical and frankly bloody unfair braying and bellowing coming from North of the Border.
Some people have been bred on anti-English bigotry. Reality is painful. And some Scots are absolute pros when it comes to projecting an air of long abused martyrdom.
Read all about it and follow the links at the CEP News Blog.