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Public Expenditure Levels

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 24 February 2010

10. If he will hold discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to seek to reduce the difference in the per capita level of public expenditure between Scotland and the rest of the UK. (317411)

In 2007-08, the total expenditure on services per head in Scotland was £9,032. Scotland and England have seen similar percentage increases over the past decade.

In Wellingborough, people have £2,199 less public expenditure spent on them than people in the constituencies of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. Is that fair?

The fact is that the Barnett formula has survived in various versions for more than a century. It survived 18 years of a Conservative Government. That funding formula has been in place, in whichever form, since 1888. It has been protected and has survived those 18 years of Conservative Government, but it now seems to be under threat from this Conservative Opposition.