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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Scotland's Public Finances Continue to Improve

With total revenue reaching £59,600 million, the Scottish economy grew twice as fast as the UK at the start of 2018.

Onshore tax revenue increased by £2,000 million in 2017-18, with offshore revenue increasing by £1,034 million according to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures published today.

Growth in revenues and the economy resulted in an overall improvement in Scotland’s public finances.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP visited Glasgow University to welcome its pledge to spend £1,000 million on campus infrastructure over the next ten years, saying this commitment demonstrates the confidence that exists in the Scottish economy.

The First Minister said:

"On the back of continued economic growth and rising revenue, Scotland's deficit fell again in 2017-18.

"Looking at the wider economic picture, these figures, along with recent Labour Market figures, Labour Productivity and Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product, show that Scotland is on the right trajectory.

"It also demonstrates that our commitment to sustainable economic growth is the right one and we will continue to stimulate our economy to reduce the deficit.

"Today's figures also show that offshore revenue has increased by £1,034 million. This comes on the back of recent analysis by the Oil and Gas Authority that production this year is expected to be 18% higher than in 2014. Separately, the latest Fraser of Allander Oil and Gas survey also shows that net confidence of oil and gas contractors is at the highest level since spring 2013.

"Scotland continues to perform well against other parts of the UK. The latest Ernest and Young Attractiveness Survey showed that of the UK’s 12 nations and regions, Scotland remains the top for foreign direct investment (FDI) projects outside London.

"With the limited economic powers currently at our disposal, the actions we are taking to promote sustainable economic development are helping to ensure that the key economic indicators are moving in the right direction. Brexit is by far the biggest threat to this progress and it is essential that the UK Government commits to remaining in the Single Market and the Customs Union to minimise the potential damage."

Mr Mackay added:

"The latest economic data points to an improving picture in Scotland. Our economy grew twice as fast as the UK in the two most recent quarters, while unemployment remains close to a record low and confidence is returning to the oil and gas sector.

"Today's figures underline the fact that we have a productive and growing economy, despite the UK Government's London centric economic policies.

"Meanwhile, Scottish exports of goods have increased by 12% over the past year, the fastest rate of growth of any UK nation, with huge potential for further expansion in key overseas markets.”

The full publication is available here.


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