Scottish independence

Scottish independence

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The Scottish NHS - more financially secure outside the UK?


The future of the welfare state, and particularly of the NHS, has taken centre stage in the Scottish independence debate in recent days. Given the political rhetoric, there is a clear need for some impartial analysis. In this observation we try to set out some of the facts on both recent changes in NHS spending in England and Scotland, and the prospects for the future whether Scotland is in or out of the Union. Our analysis suggests it is unlikely that independence would make it easier to find additional money for the NHS.

11 September 2014

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State of the debate: Funding welfare policy


David Phillips discusses IFS research on how welfare policy might be funded in an independence scenario, drawing our attention to potential funding challenges.

21 August 2014

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Taxing an independent Scotland

Journal article

This article considers the implications of independence for the design and functioning of Scotland’s tax system.

18 August 2014

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Oil: the continuing source of disagreement


The debate on Scottish independence has been enlivened today by the publication of two separate reports on the outlook for the public finances of an independent Scotland, one from HM Treasury and one from the Scottish Government. These reports come to quite different conclusions about the likely strength of Scotland’s public finances as an independent country compared to continuing as part of the UK. In this observation we discuss why today’s analysis from the Scottish Government appears to paint such a different picture for Scotland to that of our own previous work, and the work published today by HM Treasury.

28 May 2014