Is it fair for Scottish taxpayers to receive subsidised and free services that the English don't get?

NO: cuts are being made everywhere to everyone, why should Scotland be any different?
47% (457 votes)
NO: the Scottish parliament should have the power to make these funding decisions – but only if it can cover the costs.
27% (258 votes)
YES: it's the English parliament's legislation that is causing this gap.
26% (255 votes)
Total votes: 970

Your Comments


Totally unfair, The scots are ripping us off.

Scotland have their own parliament. Consequently Scottish MPs should not sit in the our parliament at Westminster and the Scots should NOT be subsidised by it in any way.

The point should be that the Westminster parliament's policies favour English and Welsh citizens over those in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The transport crossings to England from the continent are much more heavily subsidised than road transport within the UK, so food is much cheaper in England and Wales than in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Similarly, in England the transport infrastructure, hospitals, surgeries and businesses receive much greater subsidy, or more loans, and government investment than in Scotland and Northern Ireland, so services are cheaper and better.

Successive Westminster parliament's policies have concentrated jobs in southern England and big cities, so there are fewer jobs in Scotland and more people flocking towards England and their cities. That means too that the bulk of taxes and business rates are raised in England and I doubt that the Westminster government understands that the Scottish government and councils have very low incomes.

Being essentially a rural community, Scotland needs all the help it can get to help people cope with all the expenses of modern council spending. Remember that refuse lorries may have to travel well over 100 miles in a day to pick up all the rural refuse and post offices are many miles apart in many places. Banks only exist where there is a large population and many have closed all their rural branches to save money. What is a poor country dweller to do when he/she needs a doctor etc. There are virtually one-bus-a-day services in rural areas so everybody needs a car to get about, with petrol at $1.43 per litre or more, on the offshore islands. There are very few shops in rural villages (one per area usually) so a long way to go to get essentials. I think they survive, rather than live in the country, so do not grudge one penny towards helping.

It's an absolute disgrace that the Scots receive so much more than the English, also that their chidren can go to their universities free and English students are ripped off. Many people won't know that European students can take out full 'loans' in England but never pay one penny back - they have no intention of repaying monies they borrowed.

I feel discriminated against I am very proud to be English but I have to have a british passport I am very often asked to fill in surveys that ask am I British or do I live in the Uk. If I am part of a british union why am I and the rest of England treated
the way we are You Look at prescription Education Dental treatment we appear to
have to pay so much more , talk about one rule for us and another for the rest
of them.

This is an anomoly that has been around for too long. It is time for the disparity to be put right.

It very much looks like we are no longer a 'United Kingdom'. Someone, somewhere within government circles is continuing to take decisions which completely defy pure common sense. Sadly I cannot trust any political party to exercise sound judgement

It`s not fair we pay the Scots far to much money in these troubled times it should be stopped.

This disparity has been a scandal for too long. It is unfair for the English tax payer and it is time to put things right.

You can vote in the Government petition here...

Scotland has too big a say in the UK Parliament thanks to the number of MP`s originating in Scotland but not necessarily representing Scottish constituencies. Therefore there is little chance of changing this unfair rule.

And they want independence? Bloody dis grace.

Rubbish. This is due to the Barnett Formula which gives Scotland, and indeed Wales, !0% of the monies spent on English projects

No doubt if the Scots were such a burden on the English there would have had independence to the Scots long ago. Just think on how N. Ireland would have been disposed off if it had not been for the stance of the N. Irish electors

WE are supposed to be one island, one United Kingdom, therefore there should be one set of funding rules for all.
Without getting into all the nonsense excuses, why do they have subsidised and free services? If they can manage it, without taking money from English taxpayers, I am in favour of it, however, as they can't, then English students should not be charged in Scottish universities (racism?).

There is no English Parliament, that is the problem.

This is a very divisive question a and should now figure in your topics.

the english have been benifiting from north sea oil for decades its about time the scots got something back roll ,on independance .

Lets all move to Scotland.

Isitfair is the registered trade name of the Isitfair campaign calling for the reform of the council tax system

It is outrageous that we (English) taxpayers are subsidising services in Scotland that we do not receive ourselves. Services should be supplied (or not in times of cuts) across the UK equally. No one part of the UK should be favoured.

I haven't voted in your poll, because none of your choices are correct. England doesn't have a Parliament for a start, although they think they do and that's part of the problem. You are obviously looking for a particular answer and have therefore given no attention to asking a balanced question.

Yes it is fair that Scots get subsidised services that the English don't get - the Scots are given a certain amount of money to use as they see fit, just as the English are by the UK Parliament. They obviously choose to subsidise different things. No Olympics for Scotland, no World Cup for Scotland.

Also, with a more scattered population in Scotland, calculating subsidy simply on a per capita basis is meaningless.

I suggest going back home and thinking again. :)

The Labour Party need Scottish MPs, otherwise they'll never get back into government. SIMPLE!!

Scotland is certainly not a rural country - Edinburgh, Glasgow/Strathclyde, Dundee, Stirling, Perth, Aberdeen and Inverness have perhaps 80% + of the population.
400 years ago Scotland was a rural country. If the subsidy when to Orkney, Shetland, The Western Isles, Ross etc I could understand it but it doesn't - just like in England Scottish Governments always favour the South for investment (despite an official move North policy for Government departments).

Well! I am English and all i can say to my fellow Countrymen in England is! Come north of the boarder, i did 33 years ago and i love it. If you sincerely want work? there's jobs about. Regards Macum

Thank you for being analytical rather than easily indocrinated!

The Scotish gov. then pass on payments to local authorities i. e. police and other bodies. In England this is done direct and is notshown as a direct payment

Good luck with your Independence, just remember last time you asked your people Shetland and Orkney voted to stay with England -that's where the oil reserves lie and do you really want to lose your £1,600 per person subsidies-careful what you wish for Scotland

It's racist!

I notice that there have been a couple of postings about the problems of living in Scotland as opposed to England. I would just like to add that we don't all live in the South of England and some of the problems that Scotland has are also encountered by people who live in rural areas in England and particularly Midlands and the North. Banks have been closed down here, also Post Offices have been closed, now they are closing libraries, but unlike Scotland we don't get the subsidies. Our children have to pay if they go to university, we have to pay for prescriptions and care for the elderly. Wouldn't it be fairer if we also had the subsidies that Scotland enjoys?

Once North Sea oil is factored in the subsidy looks completely different but I acknowledge Scotland afre another economy living too far beyond on our means even taking oil revenues into account!

The funding of university education is founded on a national principle that education should be freely available to all able to benefit from it. The English system conflates the societal disease of educational snobbery with an establishment policy which encourages both debt and gambling.

So, that would be the same North Sea as lies off the Yorkshire coast?

Better still would be to reclaim the North Sea for Britain as per pre-EU so that we could protect the fish and OUR oil.

Student fees! We subsidise the Scots who then discriminate against rest of UK. Free tuition for EU but not English etc. Disgraceful :/

I agree with you completely

Totally agree why should Scots mp,s sit in English parliament

If it is part of the UK it should receive equal funding throughout the UK

One person - one vote - one allocation of expenditure. We all have the economic right to reside and work where we wish whilst constrained by our ability to actually do so. Which translates to the old, old adage, get on your bike!

The English (or so called middle England ) voted for the current Tory Government. As they have voted for a collection of very rich men to decide on their affairs, they can hardly complain when the policies put forward by them favour the rich at the expense of the middle to lower class (e.g. those who earn under £100,000. To them you are just drones, worker ones a that!. You have beeen like turkeys voting for Xmas. Please do not complain if Xmas has come early.

Please can we have all our oil revenues back?

This claim of south to north subsidy is false. The Scottish government receives a block grant from the UK government which the former then decides to allocate according to its perceived priorities - which are in some instances different from those set in England. Some things are higher, some lower. Some things available in England - e.g some expensive cancer treatment drugs are not available at all to the Scottish NHS.

The "Barnett formula" for that block grant was set by the UK government before devolution but provides a reducing amount over time. It was intended to address differing needs. The amount per person in Scotland is higher than for some parts of England but less than that for Northern Ireland - and London!

People in Scotland pay the same rates of Income tax, VAT everywhere else.
Don't be taken in by the London press.

Scotland were dumped out of the world cup on saturday... because the over subsidised Scottish players were too soft after receiving all these handouts... the mistreated, undersubsidised English team handed them nothing further. Another year or two of whingeing & what might have been I suppose...

I thought that we were a UNITED Kingdom - it seems that it is gradually becoming dis-united.
Everyone should be treated equally, regardless of where they live - how can it be right for some to pay tuition fees and others not, or some to get free prescriptions and others not, just because of their address?

Yes we Scots enjoy certain benefits from the budget policy of our Government because they ask us what we want and - prioritise accordingly even when the handout to which your letters refer has been reduced. Our friends in England could achieve the same if they told their politicians what was important to them but like us other benefits would be lost - swings and roundabouts come to mind.

The tone of many of the contributions says it all and insults not only the Scots but as usual the WelshNorthern Irish ENGLISH PARLIAMENT not British or UK. 

Our rural communities need assistance otherwise they would not exist and whilst our population is only 10% of the UK population over the years 1:6 of the population are English and I doubt it crossed their minds to move north for the substantial benefits they would receive from the English parliament

I notice you don't have a supplementary question " Is it fair for English taxpayers to receive subsidised and free services that the Scots don't get?"

I wonder why.......

This is where your argument falls down. Don't you mean "End British subsidies to Scotland and Wales ..... and London and Newcastle and Liverpool and.........."?

Good point but not the Scots fault. UK should have split when Scots, Welsh and NI went separate. At least an English parliament and a UK council for joint matters would be a better system.

Something like "the hand of god" you mean. Only one or two years of whingeing for us - we can subsidise you with a couple of years

As I understand it, the difference in funding between England and Scotland came about in the 1970's ( I think) when the Westminister parliament devised the Barnett Formula to give more money to Scotland because of greater levels of poverty there. If there is a perceived unfairness today, the same parliament should debate the issue openly and fairly. What should not happen is that websites like Moneywise deal with the issue in an inflammatory way by neglecting to discuss the historical reasons for the difference in funding and encouraging xenophobic comments about Scots ripping off the English. I am English by the way.

Why shouldn't the Scots and all the other freeloaders get what they can out of us? It is our own fault for being stupid enough to let them get away with it.

Why does the yes answer mention an English Parliament? There is not an English Parliament, the one in London is a UK Parliament with MP's from all four countries.