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May 16, 2006



Does the adjective "identifiable" hide anything important? Anyway, the catastrophic decline in the standard of Scots rugby and football presumably adds to the gloom.


You'll be already aware health spending doesn't make that much difference to a nation's health - general prosperity and lifestyle choices to do with diet, smoking and drinking being much more important - so higher spending on the NHS more or less disappears into a black hole here.

With regards education spending, I scarcely know where to begin - so I better not. Suffice to say it doesn't surprise any of us that work in it that higher spending doesn't deliver improved performance. It goes against the family religion and all that but I'm increasingly coming round to the view Scotland needs a smaller state.


Since Scots are more likely to live in social housing and attend state schools but less likely to have private health insurance than the English, maybe it's not all that surprising that per capita public spending is higher there. Figures on expenditure per tenant, pupil or patient might be more useful.


Do you they break down the identifiable spending? it might be that a lot of public spending is reacting to bad things, ie the causation runs the other way. healthcare spending on the elderly is higher than on the young, but that's not why the elderly are more sick.

Bob B

The unstated case for greater per capita public spending in Scotland is that without that inducement the rate of net emigration from Scotland might escalate to even higher levels.

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