The Scottish public finances 2010-11 : surplus or deficit?

Midwinter, Arthur (2012) The Scottish public finances 2010-11 : surplus or deficit? Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 36 (2). pp. 63-66. ISSN 2046-5378

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The annual publication of the Government Expenditure and Revenues in Scotland Report (known as GERS), which is compiled by professional economists in the Scottish Government, is a highly political event. [...] Arguments over GERS accuracy have generally been between the SNP and the other political parties, rather than between experts. Whilst GERS is based on estimating techniques and the UK’s public expenditure statistics, researchers in the area have accepted that it maps out the broad magnitude of Scotland’s fiscal position (Heald et al, 1998; MacKay and Wood, 1999; Bell and Christie, 2002), and therefore "the kind of fiscal position from which an independent Scotland would start" (Murkens, Jones and Keating, 2002).