Osborne’s Failed Foray North
There’s mounting evidence that Osborne’s foray into Scottish politics has had a – perhaps predictable – negative impact and could be cause of a big shift. Aside from the steady stream of social media …
Good for Channel 4 News for running with this:
… and now more trouble emerging for Better Together as it becomes clear that Osbornels figures are dodgier than a dossier. For example the mistaken Treasury claim that Scotland’s financial sector is 12 times the size of our economy – the real figure is about the same as the UK as a whole. Hence the currency union which Osborne et al rejected last week was based on a caricature of the real position:
The Fiscal Commission – on pages 140-149 – sets out how a financial regulation would work.
Mr Osborne cited the size of the Scottish financial services sector as a reason why he could not recommend such an arrangement. However in a recent statistical publication, HMRC estimated Scotland’s share of the Bank Levy (effectively a charge on the balance sheets of banks) to be 7.3 per cent of the UK total – smaller than Scotland’s share of UK GDP – not the near 25 per cent which the Treasury has estimated and on which the Chancellor’s remarks are based.
This Treasury achieved its inflation of the Scottish financial sector by simply allocating London based assets to Scotland.
For example the greater part of the banking assets allocated to Scotland is the RBS markets division which is located in the city of London, has always been located in the city of London, is now 80 per cent owned by Her Majesty’s government and in any case will soon be ring fenced by the Vickers reforms!