Sunday, October 09, 2005

Scotland worse than Belarus? Proportionally more people in the public sector in Scotland than in the former Soviet Union.

Scotland 0
Belarus 1

What is wrong with Scotland is that it no longer produces enough things that are useful.

In the Scottish national newspapers, on 7 October 2005, 158 jobs were advertised.

105 of those were in the public sector.

'Public sector' jobs usually mean things like 'accessibility strategy manager' rather than doctor or nurse.

Scotland has great oil wealth but the money is either going to London or it is being wasted on accessibility strategy managers.

Eddie Barnes, in Scotland on Sunday, 9 October 2004, revealed the 'state's grip on Scotland'.

Barnes writes that 'the ballooning public sector is strangling wealth creation'.

The findings show that in some areas like Ayrshire, three-quarters of the local economy is made up of the billions of pounds pumped in by the government.


Under New Labour it can be difficult for busines to flourish. Certain taxes are higher than in countries such as Ireland. Key workers get sucked into the public sector by the lure of high wages and good pensions.


According to Scotland on Sunday:

In Argyll and Clyde, 76% of the economy is generated from the state, in the form of spending by councils, health boards and through other forms of government activity. In Ayrshire and Arran, the figure is 74%. In Lanarkshire, it is 72%.

Only in oil-rich Grampian (35%) and finance-friendly Lothians (39%) do the figures fall below comparable English levels. Across the UK, state spending accounts for approximately 40% of the economy.

Alan Mitchell of CBI Scotland said: "To have that much of the economy generated by wealth spending rather than wealth creating can't be good for the Scottish economy long term.

"It has a major effect on the ability of companies to recruit and retain staff. Their margins are tight and they cannot compete in terms of holidays, pensions, childcare and all the other add-ons that the public sector can offer. If we don't have ambitious small to medium size businesses growing then we aren't going to develop that economy long term."

Jim Gorie, acting president of the Forum for Private Business in Scotland, added: "Excessive public spending starves the private sector of much-needed capital to help it modernise."

Jim Mather, enterprise spokesman for the SNP said high levels of public spending would leave Scotland dangerously exposed when government funding was cut back.



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