Official figures released yesterday show that public spending per person in Scotland is 22.2% higher than in England, and 41% higher than in East Anglia (table 7.4 here). Scots get £8096 of identifiable public spending each (at 2004-05 prices) whilst the English get £6623.
Are the Scots healthier than the English? No. Are they safer? No. Are they better educated? Not greatly. Are they generally happier? No (pdf).
it seems there's little correlation between high public spending and better outcomes - a message corroborated by this book by Vito Tanzi and Ludger Schuknecht.
Which raises the question. Is extra public spending unproductive in Scotland? Or would the Scots be even more violent, sick and miserable without it? If so, why is there such a big difference with the English?