Referendum Answers

Short Answers to Popular Questions about Scottish Independence

Taxes

Q. I read that Scotland's got a massive budget deficit. So will I have to pay more tax when we're independent?

A. No

It's true about the deficit though. Our deficit. which is the difference between what we raise in taxes and what we spend is about £7.6bn (as the Better Together glooms will never tire of telling you).

But before we get all gloomy about this, can you think of a country that doesn't run a deficit? The US? France? Germany? The UK perhaps? Nope, none of them. In fact the UK runs a colossal deficit of £695bn.

The thing is that most modern countries have budget deficits. It's not unusual, and countries don't suddenly hike tax rates to pay them off. Have you heard that George Osborne is going to raise taxes by 28%? No, of course not. So why would Scotland suddenly raise its taxes? It wouldn't. It's just another scare story about something that would never happen when we're independent.

And just one more wee thing, because deficits are pretty boring. Scotland's deficit, as a proportion of our GDP (think of GDP as the 'wealth' of a country) is half the UK's, ie 5% to 10%. So we're already better off on paper. Think how much better off we'll be in reality when we are independent. That's something you won't hear from Better Together. 

Sources

Wikipedia: List of government budgets by country (2011 figures)

Further Reading

Wings Over Scotland: Spending £20 to save a tenner

Wikipedia: List of government budgets by country (2011 figures)