Banner

Newsnet Main Articles

A leading Professor of Economics, Andrew Hughes Hallett, has sensationally confirmed that Scotland has been subsidising the UK treasury in London for years and that the Calman Commission recommendations are unworkable and potentially damaging.

Professor Hughes Hallett (pictured) also rubbished claims by leading Scottish Labour politicians that an independent Scotland could not have survived the banking crisis by explaining that much of the liabilities suffered by HBOS and RBS would have fallen on England.

Hughes Hallett, who is a Professor of Economics at George Mason University in Washington DC and St Andrews University was appearing on Radio Scotland’s ‘Newsweek’ show when he undermined much of what Unionist politicians and Scottish media commentators have been saying about Scotland for years.

Misleading
Professor Hughes Hallett confirmed that Scotland subsidised the UK and also described the perception that public spending in Scotland is 20% per head more than the UK average as “misleading”.  He gave, as an example, the defence figures where the actual monies spent in Scotland was £0.8 billion LESS than the official treasury figures.

Prof Hughes Hallett said:
“The usual perception is that Scotland spends about 20% on public services more per head than the UK average...

“Those numbers are very misleading mainly because the spending in that part is what’s spent on behalf of Scotland but not necessarily in Scotland.

“The estimate for Scotland’s share, that’s contributions to defence, is 2.8 billion but it’s roughly 2.0 billion are actually paid out in Scotland

“So there’s an implicit subsidy going south in that sense and you can think of lots of other examples ...”

Hughes Hallett added:
“At the moment, on the current account, there’s a subsidy going to London, which is helping London.

“When you get down to it, on the current account for the last five years at least, maybe longer, Scotland has had a current account surplus, which is currently according to the national accounts in Scotland £1.3 billion.”

Asked whether Scotland would definitely be better off, Prof Hallett replied: “You can definitely say that it [Scotland] would be better off in terms of the revenue.”

Scottish revenues and banks
Prof Hughes Hallett pointed to ‘missing’ income that is generated in Scotland but is actually attributed to London, giving the Crown Estate as an example saying: “The Crown agents who take fees for electricity generation and give it to the Treasury...”

Professor Hughes Hallett also destroyed one of the myths surrounding the bail out of HBOS and RBS claiming that their dealings in England would have meant that England would have shouldered a significant part of their liabilities.

Professor Hughes Hallet said:
“They [HBOS and RBS] have substantial activities in England as well as elsewhere and therefore the burden of bailing them out would have to have been shared in any case.

“And there are plenty of precedents for that.  The Dutch-French banks and the Belgium-French Banks that went bankrupt had to be bailed out jointly by the responsible authorities, and so it would have been shared.”

Professor Hughes Hallett’s experience has covered many areas and range from international economic policy to financial market stabilisation.  Apart from a wide range of academic posts with Princeton, St. Andrews and other universities around the world he has also acted as a consultant to the IMF, World Bank, Federal Reserve, UN, European Central Bank, UNESCO, OECD, numerous central banks, governments and other organisations.

His comments will have strengthened John Swinney’s case that Scotland would be better off financially with economic independence.  They also come on the heels of the assertion by former World Bank chief economist, and key aid to President Clinton, Joseph Stiglitz that successive Westminster governments had 'squandered' North Sea oil revenues instead of investing them.

Listen to Professor Hughes Hallett’s interview here:

SNP MSP Joe Fitzpatrick seized on Hughes Hallett's comments arguing that Scotland is not dependent on hand-outs as argued by his unionist opponents:

"Professor Hughes Hallet has confirmed what John Swinney and the SNP have been saying for years. It’s economically unviable for Scotland to remain part of the union and subsidise the rest of the UK. For years Scotland has more than paid its own way, only for unionist parties in Scotland to peddle the myth that it is the other way around."

As the crisis in Britain's public finances deepens and David Cameron's austerity cuts start to kick in, the debate in Scotland, in the lead up to the Holyrood elections next year, will focus on jobs and the economy.

With polls showing most Scots blaming the Labour Party for the critical state of Britain's public finances Iain Gray, Labour's Holyrood leader, will try to shift the focus of the campaign onto Tory cuts. As the SNP government's principle rival though, Labour will be forced to defend a union in economic dire straits and explain why voters should trust them to get Scotland out of a hole dug by Labour.

With world-renowned economists such as Stiglitz and Hughes Hallett endorsing the SNP's case and with London spending deficits ballooning, nationalist leaders will calculate that the burden of proof of economic credibility will shift from the SNP to Labour.

Comments  

 
# rolfh 2010-10-24 08:03
Surely this will be the headline item on the Politics Show today and on GMS tomorrow? Should also feature on the Scotsman's front page? Of course not.
 
 
# birnie 2010-10-24 10:52
At first, I wondered what on earth the BBC were up to - given the Prof's known views. Shurely shome editorial mistake? Then I thought, fair do's, credit where credit is due, some balance at last. However, I didn't catch any mention of this on Shereen this morning, so I guess we'll just have to wait to see whether the bias has been moderated at all yet.
 
 
# rolfh 2010-10-24 17:32
Quoting birnie:
At first, I wondered what on earth the BBC were up to - given the Prof's known views. Shurely shome editorial mistake? Then I thought, fair do's, credit where credit is due, some balance at last. However, I didn't catch any mention of this on Shereen this morning, so I guess we'll just have to wait to see whether the bias has been moderated at all yet.


Did this story actually make BBCS? I was being presumptive and sarcastic, assuming it would get no mention.
 
 
# Peter 2010-10-24 08:38
Another great article from Mr Porter
 
 
# pinkrose 2010-10-24 08:43
Very interesting and good news. Now, how do we make sure everyone has heard this..
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-10-24 08:45
Hi Pinkrose,

Readers could drop a link on blogs and send a link via email to friends or colleagues etc..
 
 
# lamphun 2010-10-24 08:44
Quote:
“The estimate for Scotland’s share, that’s contributions to defence, is 2.8 million but it’s roughly 2.0 million are actually paid out in Scotland


That was billion not million
 
 
# km 2010-10-24 16:23
NOTE TO ON-LINE EDITOR:

Yup, I spotted this one too. Must be a typo. Please can you correct.
 
 
# george davie 2010-10-24 09:03
The Scottish Parliament's e-petition in relation to Mr Megrahi is still "down". Is this normal?

Please click on link below for more information.

tinyurl.com/3xbm8cy
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-10-24 09:06
George,
This is a real story. Is there any way we can contact the justice committee and get some quotes? Would you draft a story? If not can you send me some more info so I can put it up?

Alex
 
 
# Gaavster 2010-10-24 09:30
Magic News for independistas all over Scotland

Send this to your workmates, work colleagues, facebook pages, e-mail contacts and pepper the blogosphere with it...

We have to get this message out there!!
 
 
# Bugger the Panda 2010-10-24 10:01
----------and of course the WC-BBC licence fee which whilst not a tax, though as near a damn it is, is spent mainly within the M25.

Another Union dividend!
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2010-10-24 10:01
Another great article by the team persistence will win in the end.

Off topic asset sales on the cards.
Ministers plan huge sell-off of Britain's forests: telegraph.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# km 2010-10-24 16:21
Luckily, forestry is devolved in Scotland.

There is also a news piece on the Forestry Commission Scotland website, "Scottish Government moves to quash fears on Scotland's forests" forestry.gov.uk/.../...

Shame about the forests in England though.
 
 
# colin8652 2010-10-24 10:40
As the word spreads we WILL reach a tipping point. Like a new web site you will only get one or two hits a day for the first while but when a certain point is reached it becomes an avalanche this is what will happen with the independence vote IF WE continue to spread the word.

I see the BBC's latest anti independence theme is a pitiful attempt by the liberals to dis independence by saying it can not be of interest to the public because only 12 people have sent letters on the subject to the government. Well I suggest we all send the liberals emails and letters to the contrary. There is a handy contact link on their website page so you can let them know how you feel.
 
 
# rgweir 2010-10-24 10:51
We will see this headlined on the b,,no wait,,another pink elephant has just flown past my window.
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2010-10-24 10:57
A good way for us to get the message out is possibly through car stickers. I am willing to make some up for those who want them. It certainly spreads the website around and I do a lot of miles all over Scotland.
 
 
# colin8652 2010-10-24 11:05
I'm up for one. I presently have

Independence, The ONLY way forward written in dirt on the back of my jeep.
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2010-10-24 11:11
Ok ill make some more up and figure out a way of distributing them to whoever wants them. They are not sticky but rely on the same principles as car tax holders which is handy if you ever need to remove it (why would you want to ? )
 
 
# Holebender 2010-10-24 14:05
If you print something on plain paper then wrap it in clingfilm it will stick to the inside of a car window, then just peel off whenever you want to remove it.
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2010-10-24 14:18
Tsk ... you cheapskates ! My super bombproof ones look professional and come with a 10 year guarantee :)
 
 
# Robabody 2010-10-24 22:11
Yes please. Please send a postal order and a self addressed stamped brown envelope (sorry no bundles of tenners enclosed)to? or Via?
 
 
# Jimbo1 2010-10-25 14:43
I have 1 please
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2010-10-25 14:51
Ok guys ill make 5 tonight and get back to you all.
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2010-10-24 11:11
Tonight on Reporting Scotland we talk to Hugh "Shug" McCluggan of Renfrew whose Ferret Ignatius has learned to play pool with a length of 4 by 2 and a watermelon.

Elsewhere some woad painted number cruncher who probably had a bit part in Braveheart says something unhelpful that was instantly dismissed, now the sport.........
 
 
# Gaavster 2010-10-24 11:13
Off topic - Here we go...

Anglo-Unionist Agenda section 3 - 'where ever possible lump the SNP together with the Torys'

heraldscotland.com/.../...
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2010-10-24 11:27
What a load of p**h. Will we see Alex have to face not just a new Labour leader but perhaps a Tory one too ?
 
 
# wee folding bike 2010-10-24 11:32
Right at the bottom of the piece we find this:


A spokesman for the SNP said: “There is no possibility whatsoever of a coalition deal with the Tories at Holyrood now or in the future. What’s more, we are the only major party to have an explicit constitutional bar on any coalition deal with the Tories at Holyrood – Labour and the Lib-Dems don’t.


So we can't really complain about the Herald not reporting truthfully.

Aye right.
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2010-10-24 11:58
Actually reading that again it makes Graeme Morris look bad because you have the SNP stating what their own rules are and a Labour MSP trying to scare the electorate into voting Labour.
 
 
# west_lothian_questioner 2010-10-25 00:34
Perhaps even worse.. Graeme Morrice isnt an MSP. He's at Westminster, so he's one of those who chose opposition rather than work with a coalition that would include the SNP. He's one of the feeble 40 to whom the union means more than Scotland.
 
 
# colin8652 2010-10-24 11:21
luton-dunstable.co.uk/.../...

The above is what is being peddled about the local English papers just now.
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2010-10-24 11:30
Quote:
Ms McEvoy said: "This ill-timed move will just place more financial strain on English taxpayers who are already paying for free university education and free care for the elderly in Scotland. "Many will see this as another example of the unfairness caused by the Barnett formula. The SNP should have to raise the money to fund these prescriptions within Scotland to avoid them making vote-winning decisions at the expense of the rest of us."


How little she knows but aye she is right ...we should be able to raise our own money to fund stuff.
 
 
# enneffess 2010-10-24 12:17
If you think what we get is a lot, have a look at what the Welsh get! Perhaps Ms McEvoy would be better looking at them first.
 
 
# 1scot 2010-10-24 14:18
Quoting ubinworryinmash eep:
Quote:
Ms McEvoy said: "This ill-timed move will just place more financial strain on English taxpayers who are already paying for free university education and free care for the elderly in Scotland. "Many will see this as another example of the unfairness caused by the Barnett formula. The SNP should have to raise the money to fund these prescriptions within Scotland to avoid them making vote-winning decisions at the expense of the rest of us."


How little she knows but aye she is right ...we should be able to raise our own money to fund stuff.


I have sent her a copy of this article and the Joseph Stigliz article.
I have also sent Simon Heffer of the Torygraph copies of the same articles.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-10-24 12:00
Car Stickers:

Why not design one that can be printed off from this site? That way all members and readers can print off straight from their own printer or at work..

Send the design into the editor and ask him to make it available for printing on the site..
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2010-10-24 12:16
Well you can do that anyway and my ones are taken from the ones on here already but I have access to a special wide clear tape which makes them bombproof otherwise condensation will just destroy them.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2010-10-24 12:55
Tories spark new surge for independence

scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/.../...


But separate polling evidence, in addition to the Scotland on Sunday/YouGov poll, suggests that, in Scotland, Cameron's claims are falling on deaf ears.

In a UK-wide ComRes poll asking voters whether they thought the cuts went too far, 39 per cent of people agreed, but in Scotland the figure was 53 per cent – the highest anywhere in Britain.

And in a YouGov poll asking whether the cuts were being undertaken fairly or unfairly, 47 per cent of people across the UK said they were unfair, but in Scotland the figure was 60 per cent, again the highest
figure across the country.

The SNP welcomed the Scotland on Sunday poll last night. Deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon said: "This is an extremely encouraging poll with support for independence rising by six points and opposition declining by eight points."
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-10-24 14:04
Hey Roll_on_2011,

you fancy making this into an article? You're almost there. If not I'll do it..

Alex
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2010-10-24 14:20
Hey Roll_on_2011,
you fancy making this into an article? You're almost there. If not I'll do it..
Alex


By all means Alex carry on… make it into an article.

I have also dug this piece out as well that can be added to the article.

www.snp.org/node/17437

At the moment other work commitments have to take priority. But I will, at some stage, submit a set of themed articles.
 
 
# Alx1 2010-10-24 14:29
Just a pity the Scottish government couldn't get Andrew Hughes Hallett on the payroll!
I'm sure his expetise would come in very handy in these turbulent economic times.
I wonder if the BBBC would give him much air time if he was?
 
 
# Calum21 2010-10-24 15:14
Just on a point from earlier on, car stickers for Newsnet Scotland is a great idea.

The fact that Hallett is not on the payroll of the Scottish Government is much more effective as it shows a more neutral point of view.

People in Scotland need to be given a serious look at the argument for independence. It would probably be worth e-mailing the editors of "Scotland's" newspapers and asking why these issues are not being written about.
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2010-10-24 15:27
Has anyone of similar economic clout rubbished what Hallett or Stigliz have said yet or has it just been left to go away quietly ?
 
 
# Alx1 2010-10-24 18:44
Calum21,
Quote:
The fact that Hallett is not on the payroll of the Scottish Government is much more effective as it shows a more neutral point of view.

Agree with you, but it's a double edged sword.
If he was on the Scottish gov. payroll it would add credibility to their argument.
 
 
# Harrbrian 2011-03-01 09:53
Quoting Calum21:
The fact that Hallett is not on the payroll of the Scottish Government is much more effective as it shows a more neutral point of view.

People in Scotland need to be given a serious look at the argument for independence. It would probably be worth e-mailing the editors of "Scotland's" newspapers and asking why these issues are not being written about.


If Professor Hallet had, or could be persuaded to produce, a nice coloured graphic to to illustrate his views it would be the most telling argument for the benefits of more fiscal powers and independence: a 'must send' to every English language (UK) newspaper and a potential leaflet for every door.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2010-10-24 17:23
Scottish Sunday Express poll:

POLL SHOWS BACKING FOR FULL ECONOMIC POWERS AS CUTS LOOM

scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/.../...

A NEW poll today reveals more than half of Scots want "more economic powers" for Holyrood as John Swinney faces demands to divulge where the axe will fall as part of the spending cuts crisis.

The exclusive Sunday Express/You Gov survey found 56 per cent want to give the Scottish Government the ability to raise taxes and borrow money to help offset the effect of the UK recession.


It is a major boost for the SNP administration, which yesterday stepped its campaign for full financial responsibility to bolster the country's economy.

It appears to be an argument the SNP is winning with the general public, according to the results of the YouGov poll.
Unsurprisingly, 85 per cent of Nationalists were in favour of more economic powers for Holyrood while 72 per cent of Conservative voters were against.

But 55 per cent of Labour voters and 51 per cent of Lib Dem voters also want more financial flexibility to help the country recover from the recession.


I think the last paragraph contained a pertinent punchline:

The SNP's Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie MP welcomed the poll's findings. He added: "It is now time for opposition parties in Scotland, particularly Labour - whose own supporters back economic powers - to make clear why they continue to reject financial powers in favour of Con/Dem cuts."
 
 
# Alx1 2010-10-24 18:52
Roll_On_2011,
Quote:
Unsurprisingly, 85 per cent of Nationalists were in favour of more economic powers for Holyrood while 72 per cent of Conservative voters were against.

I take it the other 15% want straight out Independence?
Good ammunition to prove that even the unionists' supporters want a step by step approach to Independence.
I wonder if their leaders would be contemplating these ideas?
Me thinks not! Expect more fears, smears & sneers.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-10-24 17:45
Roll_On_2011,

There's an article on this poll coming out later. Stay tuned!
 
 
# colin8652 2010-10-24 18:57
www.bbc.co.uk/.../index.shtml

the above link is a must for all nationalists. It is the BBC trusts site looking for YOUR views on BBC radio Scotland, including the NEWS dept. An excelent chance to let them know just what you think of Brian Taylor
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-10-24 19:23
Anyone seen this hilarious piece on the subrosa blog?

subrosa-blonde.blogspot.com/.../...
 
 
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2010-10-24 19:36
We may be offered more tax and spend powers in the future, however, after all the lies, lets just get independence and have done with it. We will still be attached to England both geographically and economically. England will still want to do business with us, don't worry on that account. Tell all your friends, especially the Labour voters and link this fine piece to facebook etc.
 
 
# km 2010-10-24 19:56
But didn't Jack McConnell say in October 2006 that we don't need any more powers for Holyrood?

Would be interesting to ask Ian Gray if he still believed that.
 
 
# Alx1 2010-10-24 19:51
On another note, the SNP is being urged to divulge it's budget now by the opposition parties (and the BBC) Now!
What I say is don't do it now, do it during the Labour party conference.
Why give the Labour party a theme to work on at their party conference in Oban, just so they can lie about everything.
Let them (Labour) explain their policies and the SNP should release the details of their budget during Labour's conference, you never know it just might expose some of their lies and of course take some wind out of their sail.
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2010-10-24 19:58
Its explained here and the Labour party jolly should be a hoot.
Alex Salmond interview: Jo Coburn aspires to the Kirsty Wark rudeness crown: moridura.blogspot.com/.../...
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2010-10-24 20:58
There is an alternative to cuts: joanmcalpine.typepad.com/.../...
 
 
# west_lothian_questioner 2010-10-24 23:05
Annable Goldie isnae half gettin desperate now. Does the daft woman not know about the SNP bar on forming a coalition with the tories? Or is there more ot it than just the desire for a seat in somebody elses corridor of power?
.../pseudo-conscience-and-political-expediency-messy-and-not-at-all-nice
 
 
# Marga B 2010-10-25 00:31
Interesting, but beware of comparisons with Spain. Hughes says that Spain is an example of how non-independent communities (regions/autonomous communities) can successfully manage their economies. Only the Basque Country and Navarre collect their own taxes and compensate the state. The rest of the regions do the opposite, and are at the mercy of the State on redistribution of revenue. Catalonia currently contributes a whopping 10% of its revenue in "solidarity" with the other regions of Spain. Catalonia can borrow, but cannot control its own economic levers (airports, ports, infrastructures , railways) etc. and the State is considering cutting back regional powers unilaterally, none of which obviously could happen if Catalonia was independent. So careful about comparisons.
 
 
# David Farrer 2010-10-25 09:43
Here's something about this over on Freedom and Whisky:

freedomandwhisky.blogspot.com/.../...
 
 
# esctosh 2012-01-22 09:45
THe BBC and DR, et al have completely ignored this for obvious reasons.

No worries..post this on Facebook, other blogs and make it Viral.

Then they will stand up and take notice of something other than their usual unionist propoganda
 

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.

Donate to Newsnet Scotland

Latest Comments