What will Scotland’s share of national debt be and how will it repay it?

Answer: Under any realistic scenario, Scotland’s projected share of the UK debt as a percentage of Scotland’s GDP will be less than the debt of the rest of the UK expressed in the same terms.

The UK national debt is expected to peak at 86 per cent of UK GDP, almost £1.6 trillion in 2016/17.

The national debt could be apportioned by reference to the historic contribution made to the UK’s public finances by Scotland. Using 1980 as the base year, Scotland’s historic share of the UK national debt in 2016/17 is projected to be approximately £100 billion. This is equivalent to 55 per cent of Scottish GDP.

Other methods for dividing responsibility for the national debts would produce different results. For example the Fiscal Commission’s first report looked at an apportionment based on population. On this basis, Scotland’s notional share of UK debt in 2016/17 is projected to be approximately £130 billion, equivalent to approximately 75 per cent of GDP – still less than the UK.

Under any realistic scenario, Scotland’s projected share of the UK debt as a percentage of Scotland’s GDP will be less than the debt of the rest of the UK expressed in the same terms.