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.
The outlook for the public finances of an independent Scotland is a key battleground in the referendum debate. Why? Because ultimately it affects how much money individuals and families will have in their pockets, and the quality and quantity of public services they can enjoy in the years ahead.
The potential consequences of independence for taxation, public services, and
the welfare system in Scotland are a key battleground in the ongoing
campaigning ahead of the independence referendum this September. This briefing note provides a summary of the key findings of recent IFS research on Scotland, including the medium-term outlook for Scotland's public finances.
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.