Tories talking up a nationalist storm over ‘broken Kingdom’?

It may be good party politics for the Tories to talk up the transfers from the exchequer to other parts of the UK, even if the numbers are relatively speaking pretty slight. But as noted on Tim Harford’s Radio Four programme the differential is not a significant disincentive to cessesation in the case of Scotland at least.

Two points worth mentioning: it is strange that the numbers for London are never quoted in such debates; unnervingly perhaps for constitutional unionists, people in the US complains about transfers to California. They are more likely to target the federal government.

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  • Never mind the cash discrepency it’s very bad party politics to leave England unique in the western world & the Commonwealth as being the only country without a national legislature & first minister.

    My democratic right is not up for politicking or ‘kicking into the long grass’ tactics by failed pr spivs cum politicians. If national governance is good for NI, Wales, Scotland, Iraq & Afghanistan then its good enough for us in England also.

    English Parliament now – no ifs, no buts.

  • In the final part of that discussion, Professor John Kaye made a very interesting observation. He said (this is not quite verbatim):

    ‘The real economic issue is whether an Independent Scotland would – with government, which is free to set policies for Scotland – be able to encourage enterprise and investment. That would very much depend upon the behaviour of the Scottish Government’

    By “behaviour” I think he means creating the right fiscal conditions. The omens do not look good at the moment. A Scots Government would have to have the courage to cut public spending rather than raise taxes. There is also no strong Scottish centre-right political voice to put forward an alternative model for prosperity. Given the current state and strengths of the parties at present, that is unlikely to change for some considerable time.

  • Transfers may not be much discussed in US as such but they sure as hell are in Canada (“equalization” as it is called)

  • Rory Carr

    A Scots Government would have to have the courage to cut public spending rather than raise taxes.

    How bloody courageous is that? It would take a lot more courage for a government to do the right thing since they would then draw down the wrath of a much more ruthless bunch than the deserving people.

    Only when they fear the wrath of a risen people more than being blackmailed by the masters of the universe will government do the right thing. Sadly that bright dawn seems yet far way.

    So you can rest easy. A ScotsNat, or Labour or LibDem government (nah! only joking about the unelectable LibDems) of an independent Scotland would never find the courage to do the right thing. So you can be sure that they will cut both taxes and public spending.

  • Into the west

    Rory,
    Do you like the irony of a united ireland
    coming on the back of ” here’s the header :

    “England demands home rule”

    here’s the joke:
    what for Ireland? ,
    no for themselves ..

  • gendjinn

    …people in the US complains about transfers to California….

    California is a net contributor to the federal govt and their budget problems would be completely eliminated if they kept that revenue for themselves.

    It is the Republican states that are welfare states in the US.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “people in the US complains about transfers to California.”

    The residents of the State of California pay rather more money to the fed than the state gets back. See below.

    “It is the Republican states that are welfare states in the US.”

    Oh lord.

    According to Wikipedia, Cali residents paid 313.988 billion USD in fed taxes in 07, and the US total paid was 2.674 trillion. Other biggies were NY at 244.672, Texas at 225.390, then a steep drop to Florida at 136.476, Illinois 135.458, NJ 121.678, Penn 112.368, Ohio 105.772 and then every other state is below 100.000.

    The, got back to paid ratio, by state, for 2005:

    Alaska 1.84:1
    Arizona 1.19:1
    Arkansas 1.41:1
    California .78:1
    Colorado .81:1
    Connecticut .69:1
    Delaware .77:1
    Florida .97:1
    Georgia 1.01:1
    Hawaii, 1.44:1
    Idaho 1.21:1
    Illinois .75:1
    Indiana 1.05:1
    Iowa 1.10:1
    Kansas 1.12:1
    Kentucky 1.51:1
    Louisiana 1.78:1
    Maine 1.41:1
    Maryland 1.30:1
    Massachusetts .82:1
    Michigan .92:1
    Minnesota .72:1
    Mississippi 2.02:1
    Missouri 1.32:1
    Montana 1.47:1
    Nebraska 1.10:1
    Nevada .65:1
    New Hampshire .71:1
    New Jersey .61:1
    New Mexico 2.03:1
    New York .79:1
    North Carolina 1.08:1
    North Dakota 1.68:1
    Ohio 1.05:1
    Oklahoma 1.36:1
    Oregon .93:1
    Penn 1.07:1
    Rhode Island 1:1
    South Carolina 1.35:1
    South Dakota 1.53:1
    Tennessee 1.27:1
    Texas .94:1
    Utah 1.07:1
    Vermont 1.08:1
    Virginia 1.51:1
    Washington .88:1
    West Virginia 1.76:1
    Wisconsin .86:1
    Wyoming 1.11:1

    Some other relevant numbers, per capita fed tax by state, not all, just a sampling, again 2005:

    Cali 8,590.18
    NY 12,678.84
    Minnesota 15,141.03
    Mississippi 3,723.71

    The other relevant number, population, again, a sampling, for 2005:

    Cali 36,553,215
    Texas 23,904,380
    NY 19,297,729
    Florida 18,251,243
    Mississippi 2,818,785
    Wyoming 522,830

    Now back to Cali’s solvency, the loss is 313,988,000,000 (fed tax) x .22 (1 paid minus .78 returned) = some number over 69 billion dollars (assuming that the ratio is roughly same for 05 and 07, i.e., I’m using the .78:1 in 05 and the 313,988 in 07 on that assumption). One of the reasons, though down on the list, explaining why I left Cali some time ago is, well, two reasons, voters continually electing dimwits like Nancy Pelosi, and all of these stupid initiative measures dealing with state taxes when the real prize to be won is that 69 billion. They wouldn’t be worrying about a 25 billion budget deficit if they had the 69 billion, or even 25.

    And bad enough for California, but look at Jersey, 61 cents on the dollar. Jersey’s loss is 121,678,433,000 x .39 = 47.45 billion or so. Less than Cali’s 69, but Cali is 36.55 million souls compared to Jersey’s 8.65 million, so that’s a huge per capita loss.

    Lastly, if only we could depopulate New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana and run the bison again. As of 07, the four states are worth 68 billion in fed tax revenue and there’s 8.5 million people that would need a new home. If only, then I could join my friends the Gros Ventre (Atsina) in eastern Montana and environs and hunt bison and live in a teepee.