The Spectator

Barometer | 23 April 2015

Plus: Scotland’s budget deficit, high pay at charities and the facts about postal votes

Text settings
Comments

Any answers?

Nigel Farage accused the audience in the BBC opposition leaders’ debate of being left-wing. Need insulting an audience destroy a political career?

— Former US Vice President Dan Quayle did it on a number of occasions, telling an audience of American Samoans in 1989: ‘You all look like happy campers to me.’ Two years later he upset the American Bar Association by asking: ‘Does America really need 70% of the world’s lawyers?’

— Current US Vice President Joe Biden told a crowd in Wisconsin in 2010: ‘You’re the dullest audience I’ve ever spoken to.’

— Nigel Farage has done it before. In December he said to Russell Brand of a heckler in a Question Time audience: ‘These are your voters … lovely people’.

Scottish prudence

Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted an end to austerity. How is the SNP getting on with balancing the books in Scotland?

— In 2013/14 public expenditure in Scotland was £66.4bn£12,500 a head.

— Onshore revenue was £50bn, or £9,400 a head. With a geographical share of North Sea revenue, it reaches £54bn.

— Excluding North Sea revenue, Scotland’s deficit was 12.2% of GDP. With this included, it falls to 8.1% of GDP.

— The budget deficit for the UK as a whole was 5.6% of GDP.

Source: Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland

Charity begins at home

Jane Ashcroft, chief executive of the Anchor Trust housing association, was revealed to have been paid £420,000 last year. Four charities who pay more:

TOP-PAID STAFF MEMBER IN LATEST ACCOUNTS

London Clinic

£850,000–£860,000

Nuffield Health

£770,000–£780,000

Wellcome Trust

£590,000–£600,000

Royal Opera House

£566,000

Source: www.thirdsector.co.uk

Going postal

Postal votes for the general election went out. Who votes by post?

In 2010, 7 million people (15.3% of the overall total) voted by post.

Highest percentage: 40.6%, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne North.

Lowest: 5.9%, in Hull North.

— Groups more likely to vote by post than in person: 18-24-year-olds, over-65s, lone parents, unemployed people.

— Less likely: professionals, managers, owner-occupiers, graduates, non-white people.

Source: Electoral Commission