The Case for Independence Who are Business for Scotland? Business for Scotland is a co-operatively owned business network for business people and professionals who believe that Scotland will prosper as an independent country and is one of the largest business organisations in Scotland. We have no party or government affiliation and we are not formally linked to or funded by the Yes campaign. Our members come from right across the political spectrum and include members of all political parties and none. Data Sources and Veracity The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report is compiled by the Scottish Government using ONS data and is approved by the UK Treasury. GERS provides annual data for both revenue and expenditure for Scottish public spending along with GDP data for the Scottish and UK economies. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/ Resource/0041/00415871.pdf This is the primary data source for most numbers in this document. The data in GERS isn’t disputed by either side. GERS is published annually around March for the last full financial year. GERS for FY 2011-12 was published in March 2013 and is the most recent data set available. Figures and percentages given are from GERS 2011-12, although the picture they paint holds true for all of the last 30 years. GERS reports Scotland’s economic performance with geographical share of oil (i.e. revenue from what would be internationally recognised as Scotland’s waters in the event of Independence). It also reports the data without oil revenues and with Scotland having a pro-rata population share of oil revenues. The data in this document uses the numbers as they would apply were Scotland Independent. The other two data sets (without oil revenues, and with a pro-rata population share) are accounting treatments for review of the data within a UK context so aren’t relevant to an independent Scotland. (See oil section) The GERS numbers have been used by the Scottish Government to compile Scotland’s Balance Sheet . While GERS is the closest that we have to a full set of national accounts, it is likely that they are pessimistic compared to the national accounts of an independent country. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/ Resource/0041/00418420.pdf For many companies, VAT and Corporation tax for the whole of UK operations are paid at company headquarters which is most often in London or the South East of England. It doesn’t count as Scottish revenue, despite the fact it’s a tax paid on sales / profit generated in Scotland. Put simply, if you buy a packet of Walkers shortbread in Tesco in Edinburgh, the VAT you pay is taken to be generated at Tesco’s head office in Hertfordshire. There are other ways in which Scottish revenues are invisible in GERS. Much of the alcohol duty paid by the whisky industry is not counted as revenue from Scotland. Alcohol produced in the UK which is exported abroad becomes subject to UK alcohol duty at the point of export, and a large proportion of Scotland’s multibillion whisky exports gets shipped out from ports in England. The UK Treasury counts the duty levied on this whisky as income from the tax region in which the port is situated.