Saturday, May 30, 2009

Who Will Be Brave Enough to Commit to Abolishing Barnett?

The ONS has published spending figures for the constituent parts of the United Kingdom for 2007-8.

Northern Ireland £9,577 per person
Scotland £9,032
Wales £8,493
England £7,426

Hardly a surprise, but it will provide further ammunition to those in all parties who believe the Barnett Formula needs to be reformed - sorry, abolished. It takes no account of devolution at all. It's thirty years old and from the last century. But don't hold your breath. Even though the SNP agree it's past it's sell by date, none of the three main parties will commit to reforming it for fear of it sparking another rise in nationalist fervour north of the border.


DMC said...

I live in the North of Ireland, I am an Irish Nationalist though, so one day i hope the North will leave the UK and re united with Ireland.

I do think that English people do get poor treatment fiscally from the union.

kenny murphy said...

That's a flawed way of breaking down the figures though.

There a regional variations all over the UK.

There are actually parts of England where the figure is higher than Scotland!

There are geographic reasons for the Scottish figure being higher.

It is not a simple system...

Iain Dale said...

Of course there are regional variations. But 22% higher? Come on.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right, the Scottish figure was based on a bribe to keep the Scots voting Labour. That clearly didn't work, neither did devolution. The time has come for the Barnett formula to be ditched and money spent where it is needed.

I hasten to add that at the present time money is being directed at Labour constituencies. Live like I do in a tory/lib dem opposition area and we really suffer from a lack of central funds.

Salmondnet said...

I don't know who will commit to abolishing it, but as David Cameron is the only person likely, in the foreseeable future, to be in a position actually to remove it, I won't be holding my breath. He has made it clear that he believes an imperfect Union is better than no Union (which is code for the English must pay the price of appeasing celtic nationalists) and that he will have no truck with the complaints of "sour little Englanders". That covers me and probably you too Iain.

That said, if the Calman Commission recommends more powers for the Scottish Parliament, as it almost certainly will, the current financial and constitutional asymmetry will be even harder to justify. If you care about such matters you should consider voting EDP.

kenny murphy said...

How does Edinburgh compare to say London?

cynicalHighlander said...

Not the latest split but shows that the London gets the most.

Nation or Region ? per head % deviation from UK average
London 5,985 +28
Northern Ireland 5,684 +21
Scotland 5,676 +21
Wales 5,050 +8
North East 4,960 +6
North West 4,927 +5
UK 4,679 0
England 4,523 -3
Yorkshire & Humber 4,477 -4
West Midlands 4,430 -5
East Midlands 4,086 -13
South West 3,947 -16
South East 3,874 -17
East of England 3,820 -18


Anonymous said...

You Londoners needn't feel too hard done by.

The full breakdown:

North East: £8,156
North West: £8,118
Yorkshire and the Humber: £7,329
East Midlands: £6,827
West Midlands: £7,475
East: £6,507
London: £9,005
South East: £6,483
South West: £6,913
Scotland: £9,032
Wales: £8,493
Northern Ireland: £9,577

Dave said...

Actually Iain is there a regional breakdown?
(And speaking from England, I don't really mind NI being a lot higher. Special circumstances and all)

Anonymous said...

Barnett is shameless! Even the guy who made it in the 1970's says it has been stretched beyond credibility!

It just means the English Taxpayer pays for services in Scotland we don't get in England.

Salmondnet said...

" There are actually parts of England where the figure is higher than Scotland". Which means there are other regions of England (not enjoying their own parliaments or Assemblies)getting even less than the national figure.

Barnett is a crude formula based directly on (inaccurate) population numbers. It has been maintained to buy Scottish loyalty to the Union.

Anonymous said...

Re: That's a flawed way of breaking down the figures though.

There a regional variations all over the UK.

There are actually parts of England where the figure is higher than Scotland!

Well that's just TOUGH if that's the case!, its all part of ENGLAND and thats where English taxpayers money belong, in ENGLAND!, not in the so called 'Celtic' fringe Regions, why should England bankroll these Regions just because they happen to be stuck onto the top and the side of it?.

You have your own EU regional Assemblies now, you shouldn't get a penny more out of England, go cap in hand to Mother Brussels, they will throw you a few euros.

The Party is coming to an end!.

Don't underestimate women getting to the heart of the matter said...

Off topic:

Iain I asked my wife whether she would vote UKIP as a way of signalling intense displeasure with no Lisbon Treaty referendum, and so helping to push Labour into third place (this as well as displeasure at the MPs expenses racket). I was suprised to be told that she was actually considering voting BNP because of all the other parties whinging about the BNP while proposing nothing themselves to do anything about the deep concerns the BNP taps into.

If others are thinking the same then this is going to be a very "interesting" election indeed!

Anonymous said...

RE: I won't be holding my breath. He has made it clear that he believes an imperfect Union is better than no Union (which is code for the English must pay the price of appeasing celtic nationalists) and that he will have no truck with the complaints of "sour little Englanders"

Little Englanders eh, that old chestnut, the Scotch really should get some new buzzwords.
When England gets its own Parliament and gets out of the EU, as you will find the majority of English people want, and get back into the WORLD!.

Thats outward looking and not at all "Little" is it.

Now compare and contrast to the Scotch and Welsh, get your own Parliament and Assembly (The are all EU Regional Assemblies in fact), then "supposedly" vote to leave the laughably titled and now null and void "United Kingdom", then Prostitute yourselves off to the EU and pretend your an "Independent country" when you will just be a Barren subsidy drunk little Region ruled by Brussels.

The SHAME pitifulness of that!

Now that's what i really call INWARD looking and "Little".

howard thomas said...

If Cameron lacks the balls to abolish it , perhaps he could use the usual political trickery and simply fiddle it!

Possibly a more important issue is to stop the Scotish MPs voting in Westminster on matters that are already taken care of in Scotland by the Scotish parliament.

That was one of Blair's 'democratic masterpieces'(fiddles)

Wyrdtimes said...

Yes there is a regional breakdown but there's nothing wrong with Iain's figures averaged across the whole of England.

England is one nation - the "regions" have no democratic legitimacy and are an attempt to balkanise England for the EU's convenience - with the full support of Labour, The Conservative and Unionist party and the Liberal Democrats.

The Barnett Formula must be scrapped. The "English regions" should be scrapped too and the people of England should be given an English parliament.

Ivor Biggun said...

Kenny Murphy is right - London for example has higher per capita expenditure than Scotland, at the expense of other English regions.

To be fair you should breakdown the figures by comparable sized populations - not 50m vs. 5m, otherwise your post is just another example of you having a go at the Scots as part of your English parliament hobby horse.

Anonymous said...

Off topic - have you read James Purnell's article in the Guardian putting forward the most ill-advised case for taxpayer assisted political party funding?

Ulster Tory said...

As someone from NI, there are reasons for our spending being alot higher recently. The regeneration of the whole province isn't cheap.

That said, we live in a QUANGOcracy, which needs to be reduced. Hopefully DC will move us to the next stage in the process.

Ian M said...

Respondents have correctly pointed out that there are regional variations in the English regions with London being the biggest subsidy junkie.

But Scotland also has regional variations and I suspect the Central belt running from Edinburgh through to Greenock consumes the greatest amount of expenditure per head in Scotland with areas like the Borders and Highlands losing out. Within that if one takes out the Greater Edinburgh Co-Prosperity Sphere then I suspect most of the money is spent on that paragon of Labour Party Control, the City and County of Glasgow.

Anonymous said...

"How does Edinburgh compare to say London?"

How does Edinburgh compare to say Inverness?"

William Blakes Ghost said...

Yes Barnett needs to be replaced but please can we stop this antagonistic nationalist EDP drivel.

All it does is play into Salmond's hands........

Components of Independence said...

Say Scotland and England each build ONE additional hospital. The hospital built in Scotland is slightly cheaper than the one built in England, but both hospitals serve a similar population (say 50,000) covering a similar area, with a similar demographic.

It follows that the per capita cost of that hospital in Scotland is higher than the per capita cost in England, because Scotland has less people to spread the cost across with such a blunt analysis. And that is even with the total cost of the hospital being less in Scotland than in England.

Perhaps these figures are not the best way to compare public expenditure after all. I much prefer total revenue compared to total expenditure myself, but that brings into context the whole area of "non-identifiable expenditure", which the above statistics do not go near.

tally said...

It is the consequentials of the barnett formula I object to most of all. Why should scotland wales and northern ireland get a percentage of monies spent on infrastructure in England to do with as they please ie. they can afford free prescriptions in the non English parts of the uk?
Can some one tell me why people in England cannot have free prescriptions, but we can afford to pay for the governments and politicians of wales scotland northern ireland and brussells?

Anonymous said...


If you lived in the North of Ireland, you would be living in Donegal. You actually live in Northern Ireland, a constituent part of the United Kingdom, despite the attempts by your community over the pasty 40 years to destroy democracy in the province, usurp the law and impose a corrupt and priest-riddled republican government on us.

Anonymous said...

I am with Kenny Murphy on this.
But I do love the way that you post those figures, and then ignore everything else and straight onto the Barnett formula!
That is the problem Iain, if you could look at the bigger picture UK wide, instead of Scots bashing, your whinging might stand up to more than it does right now.

No point bringing the wider problems or implications that are often missed yet again, they would fall on deaf ears who don't want to listen.

Anonymous said...

Re 'Regions'

Scotland IS a (EU) Region!.

And has been legitimised by its own electorate when they voted for their own EU Regional assembly, the same as Wales and N ireland.

Regions were completely rejected by the only part of England allowed to vote, the North East of England, they were chosen as McLabour and their EU superiors decided the North East of England was the most likely to vote "Yes", when in fact it was a resounding NO!.

The ONLY thing England gets out of the the BILL!


European elections 2009: Scotland region

Anonymous said...

Give all devolved institutions the power to vary tax (I believe Scotland has it already) and then abolish Barnett. Is the other countries want to spend more then they will be free to do so, but the additional cost will fall on their own taxpayers/voters.

Anonymous said...

RE the London point. I'd be very interested to see how much London puts into the pot. I rather suspect the capital subsidises the rest of the UK (with the exception of the SE) rather handsomely - and the SE's wealth is based on its proximity to LDN.

Paul Halsall said...

It's incredible to read people who think they are Conservatives when they are not even Unionists?

Do they know nothing of history? Are they not proud that we have had (soome problems in Ireland notwithstanding) a functioning multi-ethnic Union since 1801, in *the* country in the world that has best balanced freedom, good government, and heroic achievement?

neil craig said...

Kenny is correct that there are parts of England that get higher & I think there would be agree,emt that payments to poorer areas are bound to be higher as long as we are a united kingdom.

On the other hand it is somewhat fiddled as a bribe to stop us Scots departing & taking our oil & even more fiddled for the Northern Irish to persude them not to blow people up.

On the 3rd hand I would support going, over several years as anything else would be wantonly destructive, for a more balanced distribution if we also got the power to cut Corporation Tax here (this is official SNP policy since they have watched Ireland). Actually, if the Laffer curve is at all right cutting CT would mean greater economic activity which would, over several years, considerably increase overall economic performance & thus bring our contributions in line with what we get anyway.

Of course it would be possible for Wedtminster MPs to suddenly notice Ireland's example too & thus make the same CT cits in England which would mean increased growth there as well which would throw such calculations off. Wouldn't that be dreadful?

Anonymous said...

This disgusts me. The Scots like to pretend that the problem is that London gets more than the north east, but Ediburgh also gets more than the north east. Its not difficult for any thicko to work out that the counties in England are scrabbling over a tinier proportion than the Scots, Welsh and NI have bestowed upon them.

The problem is the Barnett Formula - and how it is divided up in England, is however the Scottish chancellor says so. The same Scottish Chancellor who signed the Scottish Claim of Right, along with Brown, et al.

If one of my relatives needs one of the cancer drugs we English are not allowed, but which the Scots get for free, then God help whoever is PM at that time. My family will not die quietly for Scotland's thieving politicians.

DMC said...

To Anon

Nationalists tried to destroy democracy? Sorry i thought it was the Unionist government which denied Catholics equal voting rights and Gerrymanderd constituencies to ensure a unionist majoirty.

It was a unionist PM Brookenborough who urged Protestant businessmen to sack catholics and hire only protestants.

I accept at the minute the North is part of the UK but i do believe that someday the North through a referndum will once again be part of Ireland

Stephen Gash said...

Yawn. The same flawed arguments being put forward. "There are REGIONS of England that get more than Scotland".

Firstly, where?

Secondly, the money is dished out on the basis of nations. So to then compare how the money is spent in England with that in Scotland is false.

Glasgow receives different spending per capita than the Western Isles, which receive different spending to the Shetlands and so on.

Gordon Brown might bang on about "the nations and regions of Britain", but don't expect English patriots to do the same. I consider Brown's "nations and regions of Britain" to be deeply insulting.

The nation of England will do nicely thankyou.

The UK Parliament has failed England dismally. In fact it has been profoundly Anglophobic.

It even moved the Solway Firth Anglo-Scottish border south, because Cumbria County Council opposed a massive wind farm. Control for its planning is now in the Scottish Parliament's hands, even though the turbines are within sight of Workington! This would never have happened with an English Parliament and that is what England needs urgently.

"Scots blood" Cameron won't do it, Labour and the Lib Dems certainly won't. So none will get my vote.

I actually regard the Tories as nothing better than traitors to England and I was a former Tory voter. I'll not vote for them again.

nick said...

London may get more per head, but as well as containing the most deprived areas of the UK and the centre of national government with its associated costs, it also has to provide adequate infrastructure for millions of people from the lowest-spending "South East" and "East of England" regions to work there.
Even Barnett himself thinks the Formula should be reformed.

Roger Thornhill said...

London gets more absolute cash because it is a very expensive place to be.

Londoners are short changed in terms of schools and hospitals, police, fire to name the key items. Vast amounts of tax revenue flows out of London whereas other places are supported by vast State employment centres, i.e. they are de facto Soviets.

If London declared UDI and became a city state, just you wait while the Soviets realise that you cannot earn money and be wealthy by employing everyone on the State.

Ivor Biggun said...

For a great (and necessary) backgrounder on the whys and wherefores of the Barnett Formula and the West Lothian Question I recommend reading this academic paper:

Barnett & the West Lothian QuestionThose of you who prefer division and ignorant bile can skip this, but to those who care about the UK and the best interests of its constituent parts it's well worth a read.

P.S. You mention that the SNP wants rid of the Barnett Formula, but omit that they want full fiscal independence - which would probably result in the same levels of spending, taking in to account taxes raised in Scotland and Scottish waters.

Alfie said...

That's the problem with paying protection money - when you try and stop the payments, you tend to get your legs broken and buried under a motorway flyover....

subrosa said...

You missed out London Iain. They get more than anyone per head.

Cllr Peter cairns (SNP) said...

As a Councillor in the Highlands I see the issue three times.

In the UK the bulk of the population and wealth is in the South not Scotland.

In Scotland the bulk of the population and wealth is in the central belt not the highlands.

In Highland Council the bulk of the population and wealth is in and around Inverness, not Caithness or Skye.

So when we look at services a refuse truck can pick up ten times as many bins an hour as it can in a rural area, so you either charge people in rural areas far more or subsidies then from the centre.

It's the same with fuel, Tesco in Inverness can sell it cheaper than garages in Caithness can buy it because they have hundreds of customers a day while a remote garage sometimes has as few dozen.

You either accept that georgaphy, sparcity and wealth are taken into account, or you don't.

Last week I sat through a budget presentation about how the Scottish government grant support to councils is allocated and almost lost the will to live.

it is a hugely complicated and obscure process constantly being tweaked and argued over because every change has winners and losers and everyone constantly makes some claim to be a special case or to be unfairly treated.

The only thing all thirty ywo councils seem to agree on is that they all get a rotten deal.

So in effect I'd caution those who talk about a fairer needs based assessment, be careful what you wish for, it may come true....

Personally if we could measure it accurately I'd go for local per capita GDP.

If it was low you'd get a big grant if it was high you'd get a low grant.

Scotland, Ireland England and Wales would all get an amount based on national GDP compared to the UK average.

How the governments in the four countries divided it up would be up to them.

It would be up to Holyrood how much the Highlands got and Westminster how much Cornwall got.

It might seem a bit simplistic but I have a strong feeling that a system like that for Local government grant that tried to measure everything, from road legths to free school meals. would involve;

Huge amounts of red tape, big inaccuracies, eternal wrangles and at the end of that, would probably produce broadly the same result.

Hog heaven for civil servants and statistictions but of little benefit to the public.

Of course the best solution of all is Independence and that way we are both free to do as we please and that's best for us all.


John MacLeod said...

Oh dear, Barnett again. There are two unavoidable reasons why public spending per capita is higher in Scotland - the much lower population density over most of its landmass and our northern latitude.

For instance, the dictates of geography, sea-straits etc. means that here in the Western Isles we need dozens of doctors and dozens and dozens of teachers and a lot of very small schools for a total population of less than 30,000.

And you don't need an A-level in physics to grasp that it costs more to heat and light schools and hospitals and all public facilities when you are much further north and with much less winter daylight.

It should be remembered besides that Scots pay taxes too and get no discernible benefit from huge public-spending endeavours in London and the south east - eg the fortune wasted in the Millennium Dome or the enormous funds now being vested in the 2012 Olympics.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I think I am right when I say that any city which has to accommodate centres of governmental power and more than one hundred foreign embassies loses direct revenue in rates or council tax and needs to be compensated. That is so in many other countries.

That my be the reason why London is allocated more per head theoretically. I say theoretically since it also has the largest burden of illegal immigration to service.

Salmondnet said...

Anonymous 2.24: "Sour little Englanders" is a direct quote from a Cameron speech (to a Scottish audience). It is his description and his attitude, not mine.

Stephen Gash said...

Don't fall for this comparison of spending between the NATION of Scotland and the reviled REGIONS of England. It is a false comparison.

None of us want these regions, which is why we are denied any democratic say.

Nobody in England has been even consulted on the establishment of these regions. They have no geo-political, let alone cultural, bearing on England. The north of England was deliberately split into the spurious North East and North West for purely gerrymandering reasons. It was also to weaken the voice of northern England.

The more I see and read how England must be carved up for the 'sake of the Union' the more I hate the Union, if it were possible for me to hate it more.

Screw the Union.

Stephen Gash said...

@ John MacLeod
You are completely wrong.

Firstly, Berwick upon Tweed is further north than parts of western Scotland. Cumbria is sparsely populated and the poorest part of the UK by a long way.

Secondly, the Barnett Formula distributes funds according to what is spent in England. Any public spending in England is reflected by the Formula in Scotland, whether Scotland needs it or not. Gordon Brown lied (I repeat lied) to parliament twice in two separate PMQs by asserting the BF was based on need. It patently is not as Joel Barnett and Kenneth Calman have pointed out.

Indeed, helathcare spending increases in England were BF matched in Scotland, but subsequent decreases in English healthcare spending were not mirrored in Scotland. A FOI request pulled up some answer about the increase being on one budget, but the decrease was on another not covered by the BF.

The Barnett Formula is just the tip of the iceberg. Look at the jobs pouring out of England into Scotland and Wales. RN carriers, destroyers, nuclear subs to name but three.

The Air Sea Rescue HQ was moved from Cornwall to Wales along with Army HQs.

Add to this the fact that Scotland gets two bites at the Lottery Fund, whereas English projects don't, and it is perfectly clear that the UK robs England.

None of the three main parties will change it, so it is time to change the parties in parliament.

Salmondnet said...

John Macleod: 50% of Scotland's people live in the Edinburgh and Glasgow conurbations where population density is not an issue. If the extra 22% is going on the remaining 2.5 Million alone, plus a bit of extra heating for all, it is even more outrageous. Scotland is colder, but arctic it ain't.

Pretty much everyone except those who benefit from it financially or politically now acknowledges that Barnett is indefensible.

Anonymous said...

Iain - You do tend to make a bit of a horse of yourself when you stray off politics and on to policy.

The Barnett formula is actually reducing differentials in per capita spending between England and the rest over time. This is because it determines how increments in spending in UK public services are reflected in increases in spending in Scotland, Wales and NI.

And this is done in proportion to population (ie. not in proportion to the existing unequal per capita spend). So an extra £100m on for the NHS would create a 'Barnett Consequential' of £5.9m in Wales reflecting Wales' 5.9% of the UK population. So over time the Barnett formula is narrowing the gap between the countries of the UK.

The reasons the regional numbers are so different are two-fold: historical settlements and the various needs-based formulae that are used to allocate UK tax revenue for local government, NHS, police etc.(generally more UK tax revenue per head is spent in poorer areas).

The purpose is deliberately redistributive - well off areas both raise more tax and have lower spending per capita.

If you are unhappy about that, then argue against funding according to need or campaign for more localisation of the tax base - but don't tilt at the Barnett formula.

There is a good argument for equalising the needs-based redistribution formula for all parts of the UK - not giving more to Scotland, Wales and NI for a given level of depivation than would be provided within England. The Barnett formula is doing this (gradually).

Anonymous said...

Do you even understand what the Barnett formula is? I doubt it and the figures you have published are only for "identifiable" expenditure: for instance, to use a topical example most MP's expenses are spent in the South East of England but don't count to these figures.

What is your point anyway? Do you deny that Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland are poorer than England? Or do you think that government expenditure should not be targetted at poverty (eg if you abolished income support I am sure that would tilt the figures in England's direction but at what price?

And are you aware that identifiable expenditure is higher in, say, NE England than the South East? Why aren't you complaining about that?

Paul Halsall said...

"Screw the Union"

God, Iain, you commentators make me feel like a Tory sometimes.

xxx said...

I am a Scot and I totally oppose the Barnett formula because it introduces a whole set of negative incentives to the Scottish economy.

There is no incentive for the Scottish government to focus on wealth creation. There is no incentive to encourage innovation and enterprise.

There is no incentive for the Scottish Government to focus on efficiency and cost reduction.

I say give the Scottish Parliament the power to raise it's own taxes and and take real responsibility for it's decisions

Anonymous said...

Screw the union, screw the British and screw our Scottish rulers.

Send the ignorant Unionists to Scotland and challenge them to wave their union rag in Scottish pubs - they won't walk out in one piece - where they will discover exactly how united their imaginary Union really is. And good riddance to bad rubbish. Don't bother coming back.

Maria said...

The Barnett Formula is allocated in terms of "Celtic" nations, and England doesn't benefit from it at all. Pointing out regional differences in spending across England is a red herring. Of course spending levels across England will differ because of differing population levels - but that's got nothing to do with the Barnett Formula. It does not apply to England.

Maria said...

Bizarre arguments here - Lord Joel Barnett, the Barnett Formula's creator, says that the Formula is unfair to England, but certain posters here know better! The anti-English arrogance of it!

Stephen Gash said...

These anonymous postings are irritating. Can't you call yourselves dumbass or something?

@ May 30, 2009 5:27 PM who wrote This is because it determines how increments in spending in UK public services are reflected in increases in spending in Scotland, Wales and NI.By UK I suppose you mean England? This is the problem. The UK is scuppering England. The lack of an English Parliament allows Brown and the other Britishers to deceive the English electorate by talking about "the country", or worse in Brown's case, "our country" when referring to England only.
'England' is a word barely ever spoken in the House of Commons. 'England' is not represented in the British-Irish Council, but Scotland, Ireland, Wales, N. Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and The UK, are. It meets to discuss how England's taxes are to be distributed to the 'Celtic' countries, without a single Englishman sat at the table.

England is not represented in the EU. England the nation whose name is never spoken.

@ May 30, 2009 5:36 PM who wrote to use a topical example most MP's expenses are spent in the South East of England but don't count to these figures.Scottish MPs have the least workload, since devolution, but many claim the highest expenses. Eric Joyce and Charles Kennedy spring to mind.

What are Scotland's MPs for?

Stephen Gash said...

@ Paul Halsall

I say "screw the Union" because the Union is screwing England. I doubt Iain's bandwidth would permit the full list to be posted.

There is not one sound reason to continue this so-called Union. The only reason it continues is to drain England, which was exactly the reason it was started in the first place.

wolfie said...

It's about time that we sparked some nationalist fervour south of the border.

I am pleased to be called a little Englander. I belive that small is beautiful, economics as if people mattered and SME enterprise far more valuable that global multinationals.

I would like to see an independent England ( similar to Switzerland) out of the EU but with free trade AND flow of workers in the EFTA.

Oh and Barnett formulas etc for redistributing peoples money is a nonsense. Stop government taking their money in the first place.

If a political party gained power that implemented The Plan then local areas would have their own tax/revenue raising sytems so each can be tailored to local circumstances.

xxx said...

@Maria 6:19

It is highly debatable whether Scotland can be called a "Celtic Nation". The Gaelic speaking parts or the Highlands perhaps but the Lowland culture and language is Germanic in origin deriving from Middle English, brought to Scotland by the Angles of Northumbria with intrusions from Scandanavia.

In Lowland Scotland the term Celtic is normally used to refer to that Irish football team that play in Glasgow.

Flemingcrag said...

I live in Scotland and I for one would love to see the Barnett formula scrapped, it has turned Scotland into a Land where a majority of the population are either employed in the Public Sector or on Benefits.
This has become the Utopia of the Client State for Labour and do not be fooled by the SNP they are bigger Socialists than Labour could ever be.
Those employed in the Private Sector in Scotland are the forgotten few who work long and hard to own our own houses with no employer provided pension at the end of the rainbow and are perfectly capable of taking our own rubbish to the tip and are willing to do for our Country not obsessed with what we can soak off another Country.
I do not yearn like the SNP for independence for my Country my dream is independence for its people. Free from the yolk of State interference and the embarrassment of MPs from my Country imposing things on England they do not wish for themselves.

King Athelstan said...

Nice to see the bigots, gangsters and child killers doing nicely to the tune of 2 grand per capita.

King Athelstan said...

Cameron has promised to abolish the despised regional quangos, we need to hold him to that.

Guy Herbert said...

As an Englishman and a Tory, I fail to see why, since the Red Clyde and the Red Navy are safely buried by history, why conservatives are not encouraging nationalist spirit north of the border. There would be much to gain politically, from an independent Scotland.

Who knows, we might get an independent England after that.

DMC said...

Funny enough the scottish government will have to make cuts of at least 2% over the next year due to the impact of the UK government borrowing.

Jonah said...

"Funny enough the scottish government will have to make cuts of at least 2% over the next year due to the impact of the UK government borrowing"

Perhaps it is time for Alex Salmond to invoke the so called "Tartan tax"?

The Scottish Government has the power to increase or decrease tax by 3p in the pound, should it choose to do so.

Can't see that being a vote winner for SNP, but is this the only way to keep up with public spending in Scotland?


Jonah said...

Hi Iain,

I have always been a Tory voter, but have lost faith somewhat after writing to my local Tory MP Oliver Letwin asking about Conservative thoughts on an English Parliament. It seemed quite clear that self-determination for the English nation is not on the Tory agenda.

My interest in an EP was stimulated by my time living in Scotland.... the advantages of a parliament designed to look after the national cause was evident (especially culturally). Once I returned to England I felt more than a little hard-done-by.... a little research on the West Lothian Question and Barnett Formula increased my interest in how the Union benefits (or not) England....

Anyhow to cut a long story short I discovered groups such as “A Campaign for an English Parliament" a lobby group...and the English Democrats, a relatively new political party with the aim of addressing the political and fiscal inequality dealt to England.

I did hope that as the Tory vote is typically from the Shires of England, that the Tories would look to help address the inequalities that people residing in England current endure (ie the Tory core vote!!).

Alas, after Cameron's speech in Scotland and my letter from Oliver Letwin I will be considering voting English Democrats for now.


Anonymous said...

You not have to worry about the Barnett as in a couple of Years Scotland will be Independent

Anonymous said...

here we go again the same unionist lie that that Scotland gets a better deal out of the union than England i think a lot you should read this

Mirtha Tidville said...

I`m sick of hearing the Scots trying to justify why they get so much more money than anywhere else. Cameron has nothing to lose north of the border, cut them loose, give them what they want and watch them sink...about time too..sooner the better

Anonymous said...

I do not mind individual regions of 'Great Britain' receiving above average finances, but not a complete nation.

Let me suggest you go to Glasgow. Pick up a taxi from Trongate and get the driver to take you to the airport. The route he will take you is utterly miserably depressing. And this despite all the additional funds shovelled into Scotland.
Where has it all gone? Flash glitzy projects no doubt - but health and education in Scotland is miserable. Only benefits are booming.

Dimoto said...

I believe recent DNA studies have shown that there are no significant differences between the "nations" inhabiting these islands, (and that includes the Irish).
The rest is just mythology and petty nationalisms.

Anonymous said...

At May 30, 2009 9:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You not have to worry about the Barnett as in a couple of Years Scotland will be Independent


Translation - Ruled from Brussels outside the laughably and erroneously titled "United Kingdom" rather than being ruled from within it!


Miss you already!

PS.Yes take back your inept moronic Scotch communist Politicians!.

Thank you once more.

Stephen Gash said...

At May 30, 2009 9:23 PM , Anonymous said...
You not have to worry about the Barnett as in a couple of Years Scotland will be Independent
Why not now? There's no time like the present. Like MPs fiddling their expenses, but still expecting to hang around for perhaps a year on full pay and expesnes, until the next general election, Scots consider it their god-given right to live off the English for as long as it suits them.
Scotland is just one huge expense account draining England's wallet.

Unknown said...

The "Anonymous" at 5:27pm is anonymous for a reason - he's a bare-faced liar.

The Scots who support the Barnett Formula's stealing from the poor in England are fond of making this claim even though there has been NO evidence at any time of the so-called "reducing of differentials".

The actual truth of the matter is that the differentials have continued to widen because Scotland's population has reduced or stagnated whilst England's has grown.

If anybody claims that the Barnett Formula is designed to reduce over time then please call them a liar to their face, because that is what they are.

Absolutely shameless.

Anonymous said...

Ladbrokes has it at 4/11 that some Scotch person mentions "oor oil" in the next five posts.

Maggie Thatcher is even money.

Braveheart is 3/1.

Premier League Wolf said...

Given that the cost of living is generally lower in Scotland than in England surely the figure should be the other way around.

And why exactly should the Conservatives fear a Scottish rebellion?

With the public finances as they are cost saving have got to be made when the conservatives get into office and that will be the ideal excuse for leveling the playing field, not by spending more in England but by spending less everywhere else.

Jim Monaghan said...

This blog is disingenous. The higher per capita spend in Scotland has nothing to do with Barnett! Barnett is the only part of the funding that is exactly based on a per capita calculation!