There is an on-going debate on the British Democracy Forum as to whether English taxpayers subsidise Scotland. One line that is constantly thrown out against this argument by some Scottish nationalists is;
“There is more money raised in taxation than is returned as the Block Grant. This means it is our money that is coming back. I don’t know how many times some of you have to be told before it eventually sinks in.”
This rather arrogant and misleading statement may well be true, as far as it goes, but the Block Grant is the money that the UK government gives to the Scottish government to spend in Scotland.
The major flaw in the “it’s our money” argument, which is often wheeled out in an attempt to con English taxpayers, is that there are still vast areas of UK government spending (with English taxpayers money) that the Scottish government, and the Block Grant do not cover.
The UK government retains complete responsibility for the operation of the Welfare State, in terms of pensions, unemployment insurance and child benefit – as part of the UK-wide Welfare State exercised by the UK Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury. All paid for with English taxpayers’ money not Scottish Block Grant.
The Scottish government Block Grant does not fund Scottish defence, indeed some local economies in Scotland are dependent on nearby military bases paid for, and supported, by the UK (mainly English) taxpayer. The Scottish Block Grant does not fund the large international trade missions that help to bring jobs and employment to Scotland or the Embassies and Consulates that help Scots if they are in trouble abroad!
So if England Watch could just ask ALL Scottish nationalists that think that Scotland is self-supporting to get straight on to Mr Salmond to start talking to the UK Government with an aim to getting all taxes raised in Scotland spent in Scotland. With the proviso that all taxes raised in England be spent in England!
Wouldn’t that be a great idea?
So in summary, taxpayers in England DO subsidise Scotland!
“I don’t know how many times some of you have to be told before it eventually sinks in!”