Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Letter published in the Oxford Mail, 6 Dec 2006


Dear Sir,

Yet again you have recieved a clutch of letters complaining about the way our hard-earned money is misused (Oxford Mail, December 2).

But I wonder just how many people know that Messrs Blair and Brown continue to apply the Barnett Formula and hand over more than £10bn a year of English taxpayers' money to Scotland.

This means an extra £2,200 is spent on schools, hospitals and other public services for every person living in Scotland compared with England.

This massive amount of money should be used for the benefit of people living in England and could go a long way to offsetting taxes, council tax in particular.

Even Lord Barnett, who devised the formula for payments to Scotland in the 1970s, says it is no longer relevant and should be cancelled forthwith.

If your readers are concerned enough to write to newspapers, they should also a) write to their MP and b) join the Campaign for a Parliament for England.

Details of the campaign can be obtained from Box 125, 61 Great Underbank, Stockport SK1 1LE. Alternatively, readers can telephone 0707 122 0234, or to get full details online, log onto

John Sandalls (Dr), Locks Lane, Wantage


CEP Oxfordshire said...

Another excellent follow-up letter. Nice one, John.

Anonymous said...

I believe you are mistaken. England does not subsidise Scotland and never has. In fact it is Scotland which subsidises the English economy to the tune of almost £3 billion a year. The Barnett Formula was devised by English Conservative politicians after the discovery of the North Sea Oil, and need i remind you that the UK economy was on its kneed untill this oil was discovered. The Barnett Formula pays Scotland £8 billion a year, where as Scotland pays over £12 billion a year to the treasury in London. Thanks to the freedom of information act, it was discovered that Scotland payed more in tax over the last 30 years than England, Wales and Northern Ireland have. This was brought to light in 2005 when this information became available, and it was English Conservatives who hid these facts away under the secrecy act so as Scotland would not demand what was rightfully hers. The London and South East economy have done very well out of Scotland since the late 1960's, and if England were to pay back all that it has stolen from Scotland in the last 30 years, it would be facing economic bankruptcy. All revenues from every major Scottish industry are taken to and spent in England, due to the fact England has very little natural resources and wealth. Most English people are Conservatives at heart, which is why they still believe a 30 year old lie, which was exposed as such over 2 years ago. This is very ignorant and arrogant of England, which is why i and many other Scots believe England must be punished economicaly so as they learn to respect the country which has enriched them to its own expense.

If Scotland does become independent please consider what England will stand to lose. England will lose the North Sea Oil, Scotch Whisky revenues, electronic revenues, Science and research, a portion of the army, navy and airforce including equipment such as ships, planes and weapons. During such an event, Britains nuclear defenses will be ejected from Scotland, leaving England to find and pay for new facilities to hold them. To recover from all this would take England years and they may not recover in our life time. United Nations economists have projected an independent Scotland to be the worlds 5-7th richest nation, while England falls to below the 20th. England is over-crowded, polluted and has higher rates of unemployment than Scotland. Scotland has the massive advantage of a small population and abundent natural resources, which are more than enough to keep 5 million people.

So i will repeat that England needs to learn a little respect for Scotland. Without Scotland in the Union England will face economic crisis and have to go begging to Europe to prop up your economy. I do not care about England, and i most certainly dont care if any of this happens because it will be a punishment and lesson that England has long needed. What i hope to achieve is making England understand just how disrespectful it is and how unpopular you are on an international scale.

I think it is so sad that i now see England as a pathetic little countey Scrounging off other people to keep its self. England has been in an eternal struggle to keep its self where it is, even to the point of robbing Scotland. England is a very expensive place to live, and everything is a struggle, which is why other nations laugh at Britain for paying such high taxes, house prices and insurance.

Anonymous said...

Loath as I am to engage in what is (on both sides) little more than a mean spirited exchange of dyed-in-the-wool opinions, I would like to point out that the information in the post arguing that Scotland has been taxed more than the rest of the UK and therefore has subsidised England is misleading. 'Who pays what' in taxation terms does not change the difference between an amount raised and an amount spent. I.e., if, as is the case in the UK, one constituent part raises less taxes than it spends, then the other parts make up the difference. Even if the part in question is paying more per capita tax than the other parts, this does not change the fact that the other parts are subsidizing the spending of that part. The expenditure facts re Scottish taxation are here:

What this shows is that even if one included all the North Sea revenue as 'Scottish', there would be a short fall of 4.3 billion - money which has to be made up by the rest of the UK.

There are two solutions to this shortfall - one is that Scottish tax rates should increase relative to the rest of the UK (a solution which the previous post would see as 'unfair' - though we have established that the context is problematic for notions of 'fairness' to stand up). The other is that Scottish expenditure should decrease so that it equates its revenue. Given that the Scottish context in many ways justifies extra spending given particular health issues and so forth, some people less concerned about national rights and more concerned about increasing the standards of care, etc. across the board are not worried by this gratuity afforded Scotland. What is irksome is that the Nationalist agenda would cut off the branch that Scottish independence is sitting upon. (An independent Scotland could of course maintain overexpenditure in the short term and borrow the difference, but for how long?)