You might have seen that the Gers report is to be published on Wednesday morning, but what exactly does Gers stand for? 

The report is exclusive to Scotland and was first introduced in 1992 by the UK Conservative Government to help inform the case on devolution. 

Now in its 29th year, the report continues to have an important impact on Scotland and the independence debate. 

Here's everything you need to know about Gers. 

What does Gers stand for?

Gers stands for Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland; the annual report which estimates the difference between Scotland's gains in taxation and what it spends on public services. 

In recent years it has played a particularly important role in the independence debate, with both sides interpreting figures to support their arguments. 

Former UK Prime Minister John Major first introduced the report in 1992 as a means of weakening the case for the formation of the Scottish Parliament; he thought the report would demonstrate the significance of the UK Treasury's contribution to Scotland. 

The Scottish Government has been responsible for compiling the figures since devolution in 1999.

What does this year's report show? 

Like previous years, both sides of the independence debate are using the Gers report to argue their cases. 

SNP ministers have said that the figures demonstrate that Westminster is "actively harming" Scotland's economy, accusing them of treating Scotland as an "afterthought" with the report expected to show a huge deficit in the country. 

Meanwhile, unionists have said this claim is "ludicrous" and that Scotland's being part of the UK has "safeguarded so many jobs and livelihoods over the past year".

The anticipated 25% deficit in GDP for the last tax year means that the gap between money raised from taxation and public spending was almost triple that of 2019/20. 

It's a record no one will be celebrating, with the biggest previous deficit since devolution 10.4% in 2009/10 following the economic crash. 

This is largely due to lockdown's economic impact which cut tax revenues and required huge public spending, so much so that the UK Government sent an extra £8.2 billion in support funds.