COUNCILS could have as much as £6100 more per person if the UK’s GDP levels matched those of their European neighbours, new analysis has revealed.
Data from the House of Commons library research, analysed by the SNP, has shown that the UK is the poorest of all 13 of its neighbouring countries in North West Europe.
Previously, the SNP’s Westminster deputy Kirsten Oswald claimed this bolstered the case for independence, with countries smaller than Scotland outstripping the UK in terms of GDP levels.
According to the research, the UK’s 2019 national income per person was estimated at £31,849, while the average of 13 neighbouring countries was £35,807.
Applying this 12.4 per cent rise to GDP estimates for local authorities, it shows that Aberdeen cold have as much as £6100 more per person – the highest level of all Scottish councils.
Greater Glasgow, combining Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire, would have £4,129 more if the GDP levels were higher across the country.
SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop said the data showed “there is no part of Scotland which is realising the same economic potential of other parts of our European neighbours.”
However UK Government sources say the figures cannot simply be taken alone.
Experts in Ireland have also said using GDP alone as a measure of wealth can be unreliable, with Patrick Honohan, ex-head of Ireland’s Central Bank previously saying: “Using GDP as a measure can mislead analysis of such matters as debt, carbon intensity and inequality.”
He also said that profits of large multinationals based in Ireland had “flattered Irish GDP for years” although most of the money was “attributable to foreign parents.”
Ms Hyslop added: “Unionist political parties are forever preaching about the so-called broad shoulders of the UK but the truth is that Tory rule from Westminster is holding Scotland back from its full potential as a prosperous, independent country.
“These figures demonstrate just how dysfunctional the Union is in comparison to other countries of a similar size to Scotland, like Denmark or Belgium.
“As small, independent countries continue to flourish in Europe, Scotland can no longer afford to be part of a Union that is dragging us down and holding us back.”
A UK government spokesman said: “The UK Government will continue to deliver for the people of Scotland – our economy is one of the strongest in the world, in large part thanks the strength or our Union.
“Scotland continues to benefit from the £352 billion package of coronavirus support, which is one of the most generous in the world and has protected one in three Scottish jobs and more than 90,000 businesses.
“And next year Scotland stands to benefit from over £100 billion in capital investment across the UK, including investment in green energy and jobs for people in Scotland.”