GERS figures to depict health of economy – BBC News

The Scottish government is to publish its latest calculation of taxation and spending in Scotland, as a guide to the health of the public finances.

The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland( GERS) publishing has been brought forward from March next year.

The figures included will encompass the financial year 2015 -1 6.

They are likely to show the Scottish balance sheet still clearly in the red, even including a share of oil.

Last year’s GERS figures were gloomy, illustrating Scotland with a 15 bn deficit.

‘Strong foundations’

That was twice the UK level as a share of economic output.

It seems unlikely that Wednesday’s figures will be rosy.

Opposition parties in Scotland are expected to argue the statistics point away from a positive example for freedom.

But Scottish pastors will insist that Scotland’s economic foundations remain strong – and will again spotlight the challenge from Brexit.

On Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, published its examination of possible Brexit consequences, saying the Scottish economy could lose between 1.7 bn and 11.2 bn a year by 2030.

Opposition politicians accused her of trying to divert attention away from GERS figures, which they predicted would demonstrate the “fragility” of the Scottish economy.

Douglas Fraser: What do the GERS figures tell us about Scotland’s finances ?

Image copyright PA

This approach to calculate how much Scots pay in taxation, and how much they benefit from spending at all levels of government, goes back to the early 90 s.

Conservative pastors in the Scottish Office thought it would help inform the debate on devolution, or at least it would help them making such a lawsuit against a Scottish Parliament.

The numbers would indicate, they believed, how much more Scotland gained from the Treasury than it sent south in tax revenues.

That was one of those days when the oil price was low.

Seven years earlier, it was very high and petroleum revenues were like a gusher.


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Russian state Tv advises ‘traitors’ not to settle in England

After Salisbury poisoning, host says there have been too many strange incidents in recent years

Russian state television has cautioned “traitors” and Kremlin critics that they should not settle in England because of an increased risk of succumbing in mysterious circumstances.

” Don’t choice England as a place to live. Whatever the reasons, whether you’re a professional traitor to the motherland or you just dislike your country in your spare time, I repeat , no matter, don’t move to England ,” the presenter Kirill Kleymenov said during a news programme on Channel One, country TV’s flagship station.

” Something is not right there. Maybe it’s the climate. But in recent years there have been too many strange incidents with a grave outcome. People get hanged, poisoned, they succumb in helicopter crashes and fall out of windows in industrial sums ,” Kleymenov said.

The stark advising arrives as the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, remain critically ill in hospital after being poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury. Moscow has labelled speculation that they were targeted by the Kremlin security services as an” anti-Russian campaign “.

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Who is the Salisbury spy Sergei Skripal?- video explainer

A number of Kremlin critics have met grisly ends in Britain in recent years. Boris Berezovsky, an oligarch turned government critic, was found hanged at his home in Berkshire in March 2013. The coroner delivered an open verdict. Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB security service officer, died in 2006 after being poisoned with polonium-2 10 in the hall of a Mayfair hotel, allegedly by Russian hitmen. Vladimir Putin dismissed accusations of Russian involvement.


Poisoned umbrellas and polonium: Russian-linked UK deaths

September 1978

Georgi Markov

In one of the most chilling episodes of the cold war, the Bulgarian dissenter was poisoned by a specially adapted umbrella on Waterloo Bridge. As he waited for a bus, Markov felt a sharp pricking in his leg. The opposition activist, who was an irritant to the communist government of Bulgaria, succumbed three days later. A deadly pellet containing ricin was found in his scalp. His unknown assassin is thought to have been from the secret services in Bulgaria.

November 2006

Alexander Litvinenko

The fatal poisoning of the former FSB officer triggered an international incident. Litvinenko fell ill after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium. He satisfied his killers in a bar of the Millennium hotel in Mayfair. The pair were Andrei Lugovoi- a former KGB officer turned industrialist, who is now a deputy in Russia’s state Duma- and Dmitry Kovtun, a childhood friend of Lugovoi’s from a Soviet military family. Putin denied all involvement and refused to extradite either of the killers.

March 2012

German Gorbuntsov

The exiled Russian banker survived an attempt on his life as he got out of a cab in east London. He was shot four times with a silenced handgun. He had been involved in a bitter dispute with two former business partners.

November 2012

Alexander Perepilichnyy

The businessman collapsed while operating near his home in Surrey. Traces of a chemical that can be found in the poison plant gelsemium were later found in his belly. Before his death, Perepilichnyy was helping a specialist investment firm uncover a $230 m Russian money-laundering operation, a pre-inquest hearing was say. Hermitage Capital Management claimed that Perepilichnyy could have been purposely killed for helping it uncover the scam involving Russian officials. He may have feed a popular Russian dish containing the herb sorrel on the day of his death, which could have been poisoned.

March 2013

Boris Berezovsky

The exiled billionaire was received hanged in an apparent suicide after he had spent more than decade waging a high-profile media battle against his one-time protege Putin. A coroner recorded an open verdict after hearing conflicting expert evidence about the way he died. A pathologist who conducted a postmortem examination on the businessman’s body said he could not rule in murder.

December 2014

Scot Young

An associate of Berezovsky whom he helped to launder money, was determined impaled on railings after he fell from a fourth-floor flat in central London. A coroner ruled that there was insufficient evidence that his death was suicide. But Young, who was sent to prison in January 2013 for repeatedly refusing to disclose his finances during a public divorce row, told his partner he was going to jump out of the window moments before he was found.

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