That’s how often they tell us.
“The Barnett Formula, under which Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland receive more public spending per head than England, has long rankled south of the border. Even Joel Barnett, who was chief secretary to the Treasury when the system was introduced in the Seventies as a temporary measure, subsequently disowned it.
If the Scots vote to remain in the UK, as we hope they do, it cannot be as a result of a bribe from the English. A few years ago, the Calman Commission recommended scrapping Barnett, reducing income taxes in Scotland and then allowing Holyrood to levy its own rate on top, introducing an enhanced element of accountability and fiscal self-governance.
Such reforms should be openly debated ahead of the referendum: for the Scottish people are entitled to know that even if they vote to stay in the UK, the current method of financing public spending should not be allowed to continue.”
Our emphasis, from today’s “Telegraph View”.
The Barnett Formula is worth, by our sums, approximately £7bn a year to the Scottish economy. Bear it in mind when you’re being told about the “black hole” in Scotland’s finances after a Yes vote, because even if you vote No you can wave bye-bye to Barnett, and then Scotland really WILL be looking into a black hole.
We’re getting fair warning, folks. Pay heed.