Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sitv Tam Courtesy of Danceswith

Sitv Tam
Courtesy of Danceswith
Before retiring, John Jappy
was a senior civil servant in
the Inland Revenue,
working for the
Accountant & Comptroller
General's Branch based at
Somerset House in
London. His duties involved
liaising closely with
Treasury officials to
prepare accounts and
financial information for
UK government
"As a civil servant in
London, and being part of
the establishment, I always
accepted the general view
that an independent
Scotland would not be
able to survive on its own
without financial help from
the London Exchequer.
However, when in 1968 I
was able to examine the
so-called "books" for the
first time, I was shocked to
find that the position was
exactly the opposite and
that Scotland contributed
much more to the UK
economy than its other
partners. This was, of
course, before the oil
I realised that the Treasury
would wish to keep this a
secret, as it might feed
nationalistic tendencies
north of the border, which
at that time were very
weak. I took the decision
to keep an eye on the
situation to see how long it
would take for the true
facts to emerge, which I
felt would only be a short
time. However, the
Treasury and the
Establishment did an
excellent job, aided and
abetted by the media, to
keep the myth about
Scotland alive. In fact it
took another 30 years
before the first chink in
their armour started to
This came unexpectedly on
13 January 1997 when, in
reply to a series of
questions put by SNP
Leader in the Commons,
Alex Salmond MP to the
then Tory government,
Treasury Minister William
Waldegrave admitted that
Scotland had paid a
massive £27 billion more
to the London Exchequer
than it had received since
the Tories came to power
in 1979. Statistically this
works out at £5,400 for
every Scot.
There were no attempts to
refute these figures, which
caused much
embarrassment to the
Tory Government of the
day. However, the facts
were quickly covered up by
the Unionist controlled
media. Then a year later
with a Labour government
now in power came a
further bombshell.
Following further
promptings by the SNP, on
21 August 1998, Mr
Salmond received a letter
from the House of
Commons Library (ref.
98/8/56 EP/rjt) which gave
a table showing that based
on Scotland's GDP per
capita, Scotland would
occupy 7th place in the
world's wealth league. The
UK was at 17th Place.
When the Labour
government came to
power it announced a 1p
cut in the standard rate of
income tax. From my
detailed knowledge of
income tax, I felt that this
was the worst possible
thing that they could do,
as extra monies would be
needed following on from
the Thatcher era, if they
were to fulfil even a
fraction of their promises
to the electorate. I came
to the conclusion, and I
still feel that I was right,
that this was done by
Labour to prove to the
voters of Middle England
that they could match the
Tories in tax cuts.
Despite the disclosures of
1998, attempts to deceive
the Scottish electorate did
not end there. In March
1999 a Labour Party leaflet
appeared which said that if
the SNP were to forego
Gordon Brown's 1p cut in
the standard rate of
income tax, every family in
Scotland would be £250
worse off.
This became the major
topic of a TV debate
between Alex Salmond
and Donald Dewar.
Salmond tried to point out
to Dewar that he was
using the wrong figures.
Watching the debate, I saw
Dewar's eyes roll in his
head for a few moments
but he carried on
After the debate it took
the Labour Party a whole
week to admit that they
were wrong. There was in
fact a whole chain of
errors which the Labour
Party tried to blame on
"printing mistakes".
However Labour could not
deny the fact that in their
calculations the UK
average figure, which
included the high wage
earners in the city of
London and the booming
economy in the South East
corner of England (which if
I may say so were the
result of the selfish policies
of Mrs Margaret Thatcher),
the figure used was almost
double those of the
average Scottish wage
which at that time stood at
£17,000 per year.
Looking closely at the
figures and taking the year
2006 as a benchmark, I
found that Scotland had
an annual relative surplus
of £2,8 billion, which works
out at £560 for every man,
woman and child. In
contrast the UK had a
deficit of £34.8 billion.
In November 2006, the
U.N. published its annual
"Human Development
Index". For the sixth year
running, oil rich Norway
topped the list, and won
on such factors as
generous welfare
payments, education, high
income and a long life
expectancy. Norway wisely
created an "oil fund" in
1995 which in 5 years
reached a total of £250
billion, so that Norway
sailed through the Credit
Who are the real subsidy
Any lingering doubt that
Scotland more than pays
its way, or survives on
subsidies, was dispelled by
a new report published in
October 2007. Whilst the
Daily Mail, which by no
stretch of the imagination
could be described as a
supporter of Scottish
nationalism, devoted a
whole page to the analysis
of the report which was
based on tax paid per
capita as against spending,
Northern Ireland received
£4,212 more than it paid in
tax, North East England
£3,133, Wales £2,990, N.W.
England £1732, South
West England £978, West
Midlands £931, East
Midlands £185 and lastly
Scotland £38. Only the
South East corner
produced a small surplus
due to tax paid on the high
wages within the city of
London at this time (pre-
Credit Crunch).
It is no longer refuted that
Scotland exports more per
capita than the rest of the
UK. In 1968 when I first
discovered that Scotland
was in surplus in relation
to the rest of the UK, its
exports could be broken
down into whisky, meat,
timber, fish, and of course
tourism which is a huge
hidden income.
Those exports are
supported by a population
of only 5,000,000 as
against 45,000,000 for the
rest of the UK, quite a
substantial advantage.
With the oil boom,
Scotland's economy was
transformed. Scottish oil
has to date funded the
Treasury with £300 billion,
which has pushed Scotland
up from 7th place in World
Wealth rankings, had it
been in control of its own
resources, to 3rd place.
On 29 May 2008, Labour
Chancellor Alistair Darling
admitted in a back-handed
way, that Scotland's oil
revenue had been
underwriting the UK's
failure to balance its books
for decades. There is still
30 years of oil supply left
in the North Sea (some
150 million barrels) valued
at 2008 prices at 1 trillion
dollars. This excludes the
new fields being brought
into production in deeper
waters west of Shetland.
Meantime whisky exports,
which I listed in 1968 as
one of Scotland's top
assets, have risen at a
phenomenal rate. For
example, whisky exports to
China amounted to £1
million in 2000/2001, by
2007 they had risen to £70
million. They have
continued to rise, although
I don't have more recent
On the economies of
Independence, Scotland
has also 18 times its
requirements in North Sea
gas, which on current
trading is more expensive
than oil. The country
exports 24% of its surplus
electricity south of the
Border, with much of the
back-up by Hydro Electric
Even if nuclear is excluded,
the future looks bright, the
new Glen Doe hydro
station on Loch Ness which
was opened by Scotland's
First Minister last year can
produce enough electricity
for 240,000 homes. Further
projects down the Loch
which have now reached
the planning stage will
increase this to over
1,000,000 homes. Wind
and wave energy will also
contribute significantly in
the future. No doubt as
the time draws nearer to
the referendum on
Scottish Independence,
politicians will do their best
to distort the figures, but
the truth is something that
never varies."

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