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:
Arrived home & got my new 'S' tax code from HMRC. Now I feel that some of my tax will be staying in my own country. pic.twitter.com/6oXEL60ixR
— John Mason MSP (@JohnMasonMSP) February 11, 2016
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.