SCOTLAND "more than pays her way" in the UK with the tax-take per person higher north of the Border than the rest of the UK, according to a new report by the Scottish Government.

Analysis published today will say Scottish revenues outstripped the rest of the UK in each of the past 30 years when a geographic share of North Sea revenue is included.

Tax revenue was £56.9 billion in the last year, equivalent to £10,700 per person in Scotland and compared with £9000 per person for the UK as a whole, according to the new figures.

Finance Secretary John Swinney is releasing the paper as part of a series of documents setting out Scotland's economic position before the independence referendum next year.

The report states that, over the three decades, revenue per head has been £1350 a year higher than in the UK in total after adjustment for inflation. But the statistics do not take into account the level of public spending in Scotland.

Mr Swinney said: "These figures confirm what we have known all along. Scotland more than pays her way in the UK.

"They show that the average tax receipt per person in Scotland has been higher in each of the last 30 years than it has been across the UK as a whole."

But Scottish Labour’s Ken Macintosh MSP said: “These figures show the remarkable volatility in Scotland’s income over the past 30 years as a direct result of the fluctuating fortunes of North Sea oil.”

Mr Macintosh pointed to evidence recently given by Professor Joseph Stiglitz, one of First Minister Alex Salmond’s Council of Economic Advisers to MSPs. The Nobel-prize winning economist told the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee that questions should be raised about whether a growing economy is sustainable if it is doing so on the basis of “natural resources that are being depleted”.

Mr Macintosh added: “Any proper analysis would have reached the same conclusion as Professor JosephStiglitz, that an economy wholly based on a depleting natural resource is unsustainable. To say, as John Swinney has, that these figures prove Scotland could have higher levels of spending following independence is not just imprudent, it is fiscally illiterate. Pledging to run a deficit is not something we should be proud of.

“Why should anyone believe any figures produced by the SNP when we know they are saying one thing in  public and something completely different in private?”
Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said the figures were “just a rehash” of statistics published more than a month ago.

He said: “It doesn’t matter how the SNP packages these  statistics, they always come up with the same conclusion. Public spending in Scotland has exceeded the amount raised in taxation for the past five years and  that is just one of many reasons why  we are stronger as part of the United Kingdom.”

The new figures come after Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said an independent Scottish economy would face a £4bn black hole by 2016/17, when the SNP hope to break from the UK. Mr Alexander said that figure, based on statistics produced by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility last year, reflected forecasts of falling oil revenues.

However, speaking about the new analysis, Mr Swinney said North Sea reserves remained “substantial, with more than half the wholesale value still to be extracted”.

He added: “Scotland has a vibrant and growing renewable energy sector and key industries that will continue to grow in the future.“With responsibility for our own finances and our own vast natural resources, we would be able to put these additional revenues to use in Scotland’s  best interests.”  

With responsibility for our own finances and our own vast natural resources, we would be able to put these additional revenues to use in Scotland’s  best interests.”