Responding to the publication of the latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland figures released today (26 August 2020) by the Scottish Government, Struan Stevenson, Chief Executive of SBUK said:

“Yet again the Scottish Government’s own GERS figures show that to sustain our public services at current levels – even in any normal year – requires the pooling and sharing of resources within the UK. Now add the COVID-19 crisis, and what can happen in an abnormal year, and the outlook is very worrying indeed.

“One thing is certain. The pandemic has created an extraordinarily stark fiscal backdrop and without UK Government support to shore up Scotland’s public finances to the tune of £6.5 billion (so far) there would be very little relief to the unprecedented pressure on companies and public services alike.

“That means we must not succumb to wishful thinking that somehow separation from the UK will make the ongoing economic crisis go away. The opposite is true because a vast net deficit after independence would require either huge tax rises or commensurate public spending cuts in year one, choking off any hope of economic growth. What was a reckless prospect before the coronavirus hit defies all logic now.

“The only sensible course left is for the Scottish and UK governments to work closely with the business community to sow the seeds of quick recovery in the economy. That will require a renewal of trust and confidence; qualities that will be in short supply if the Scottish Government’s main policy remains a divisive project to partition the UK, our largest market by far.”



Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland (GERS) 2019-20 is published here.

Contact: Peter Smyth –

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