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Scotland's public finances from Goschen to Barnett

McCrone, Gavin (1999) Scotland's public finances from Goschen to Barnett. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 24 (2). pp. 30-46. ISSN 0306-7866

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Abstract

As this paper is being written, the election of the Scottish ParUament is only a matter of weeks away, yet there still appears to be a poor understanding, not only in the public mind, but probably in that of many politicians that hope to be elected, of how Scotland's public finances will operate. The White paper says that 'Scotland will continue to benefit from an appropriate share of United Kingdom public expenditure' and that the present block arrangements will remain in place adjusted annually by the Bamett formula.1 This is usually taken to mean that expenditure will continue to be based on need. But how does the formula work and has it resulted in a provision of expenditure based on need? Will it do so in the future?