SNP politician struggles with the deficit

SNP politician struggles with the deficit
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During the Scottish independence referendum, the SNP claimed that Scotland's oil revenues for 2016-17 would be somewhere in the region of £7.9 billion. However, since then the oil price has plummeted meaning the revenues will likely be just a fraction of their estimate. So, now would be an opportune time for the SNP to show that despite the figure faux pas, they still have a firm grasp of the UK economy.

Alas one SNP politician appears to lack a basic understanding of finance. John Mason, the SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleson, has tweeted his tax return -- making the point that he hopes some of the tax he pays will stay in Scotland this time around:

A user was quick to respond that the UK often ends up subsidising Scotland -- in fact the Scottish economy suffered a financial deficit that was 40 per cent higher than the rest of the UK in 2014, with a deficit of £12.4bn. Mason replied to the tweet by claiming the UK deficit was £1.5 trillion.

However, it is actually the UK national debt -- not the national deficit -- that is just over £1.5 trillion. As for the UK deficit, the deficit for 2015/2016 was £69 billion. Not that this means anything to Mason, who thinks that national debt and national deficit are one and the same...


With talk of another independence referendum looming, Mr S suspects it's for the best that Mason brushes up on his finance knowledge at the nearest opportunity.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

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