The answer to Dr Alf’s question is that Alex Salmond will go to almost any lengths to achieve his ends and his followers are simply ignoring and concealing the powerful numerical evidence that shows how people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are £3,500 gbp per head better off under the Barnett Formula.
They ignore free tuition fees, they ignore the fact that Scotland’s economy has never been self-sufficient in hundreds of years, and that from the time of the Highland Clearances and indeed from the time the Roman emperor Hadrian built his wall Scotland has never been economically self-sufficient.
About 55% of County council budgets, City council budgets and Unitary authority budgets are consumed by the costs of Adult Social Care, which everyone in England with total assets of more than £23,500 gbp including real property has to pay for in full.
A North Sea Oil rig. North Sea oil production is centred on the waters to the NE of the Scottish mainland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In Scotland Adult Social Care is free.
In addition, car ownership is higher in England, journeys are longer and we have more freight movements. We therefore pay more Petroleum Revenue Tax to the Chancellor per head than anyone in Scotland.
However, even that is not the whole story because the NHS since the year 2000 has not been funded out of NI contributions. The NI fund became effectively insolvent at that time (I saw the submissions by insurers in 1998 warning the Government that this would happen by 2000).
What has funded it is Petroleum Revenue Tax until the banking crisis and the so-called “Green measures” which forced up the costs of petrol and diesel.
These measures caused the car manufacturers to develop more fuel-efficient engines and the public to cut back on driving to the point where Petroleum Revenue Taxes fell by £1.83 billion gbp and then a further £2 billion gbp the year before last.
The NHS already cross subsidized out of monies plundered from “good causes” out of the Lottery then doubled the price of lottery tickets to bridge the NHS funding gap.
Even this is not enough because rising numbers of old people, obese people and demented people are going to cause a £30 billion gbp funding gap within 10 years.
The most unhealthy people in the country and the biggest drain on NHS resource per head of population are the Scots.
Adding in just these costs to those of the Barnett Formula gives every Scot a £6,500 gbp a year subsidy.
What do you hear about this from the SNP and Alex Salmond?
What you do hear is threats to repudiate debts, insistence that he is going to “share the pound” and statements to the effect that “we are a rich country and want 92% of North Sea oil revenues”.
The 3 main political party leaders to a man have failed to make these points forcefully, failed to call Alex Salmond’s bluff and are still prepared to give him what he wants at the expense of the English taxpayer.
It is time his bluff was called and for these useless and ineffective politicians to be given their marching orders.