New Figures Reveal UK Has Worst Cumulative Deficit in North West Europe

The SNP has said “only independence can secure a strong, fair and equal recovery” for Scotland – after new figures revealed the UK has the worst cumulative government deficit of all countries in north-west Europe for the 21st century.

Analysis provided by the House of Commons Library has revealed the UK has vastly underperformed in comparison to all other north-west European nations throughout the 21st century – with the UK average more than four times the median.

The analysis also shows that the UK’s neighbours have been far more successful at handling global risks, lowering debt whilst also remaining wealthier than the UK and having lower inequality.

The figures highlighted that the UK was behind all thirteen neighbouring countries, including Norway, Luxembourg, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Ireland and France.

The analysis, using IMF data covering the period 2000-2021, found the UK had a budget deficit of -5.15% despite the north-west European average being -2.35%.

Three countries were found to have a cumulative surplus – Norway (+8.71), Luxembourg (+1.08%), and Denmark (+0.41%) – all of whom are of similar or smaller size to Scotland.

Commenting, the SNP’s Business spokesperson Stephen Flynn MP (pictured) said:

“These new figures highlighting that the UK has the worst cumulative government deficit for the 21st century of all countries in north-west Europe – more than double the north-west European average – exposes the reality behind the Tory rhetoric.

“Despite the Boris-led bombast claiming that Scotland needs Westminster to run our economy, these figures show that the UK’s independent neighbours are far better at handling risk, debt, and recovery than the UK.

“Rather than looking to deliver an investment-led recovery from the pandemic and to address the economic challenges facing the UK, the Westminster Tory government continues to pursue all the wrong priorities and is dragging Scotland down the wrong road with it.

“The evidence shows that independent countries of Scotland’s size or smaller – including Norway, Luxembourg, Denmark, and Ireland – are doing significantly better than the UK.

“Independence works for these countries and it can work for Scotland – instead of suffering from the consequences of the Tories’ disastrous economic policies.

“Whether it’s the long-term damage of Tory austerity cuts, a botched extreme Brexit deal imposed on us against our will, or the constant Westminster mismanagement – Scotland’s economy has, and will continue to be, vulnerable under Westminster control.

“It’s beyond any doubt that only independence can secure a strong, fair and equal recovery and create a more prosperous society for Scotland.”