“Ms Sturgeon, if you don’t want to be part of the UK, can we please have our money back?”

Report: The cost to the English of supporting the rest of the UK

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022

Facts4EU analyses the latest HM Treasury figures to show the cost of the Union to the English

With Nicola Sturgeon once again holding forth on another Scottish independence referendum, Facts4EU.Org has analysed the latest data available from HM Treasury showing how the English are subsidising the Scots.

At the same time, Sinn Fein’s supporters might well wish to see how much Northern Ireland is also being subsidised by the English taxpayer.

Below we show the amount of government expenditure in each nation of the United Kingdom. Both HM Treasury and the House of Commons Library use the same measure – the expenditure per person in each nation. This is what we are showing below.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Public expenditure per person, by UK nation, 2020/2021 (latest figures)

  • England : £13,166 (2% below the UK average)
  • Scotland : £14,842 (11% above the UK average)
  • Wales : £14,222 (6% above the UK average)
  • Northern Ireland : £15,357 (14% above the UK average)

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

Short and simple explanation of the figures – what do they mean?

The expenditure figures include the cost of both ongoing services and capital expenditures. All of this is financed by tax revenues and by government borrowing. It all comes down to the same thing: the taxpayers fund everything in the end.

For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the data include spending by the devolved administrations but also spending in these countries by UK Government departments. For example, the Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for social security spending throughout Great Britain. So, for example, DWP spending on social security in Scotland is included under Scotland in the tables above.

Around 10% of total government expenditure cannot be allocated to individual nations as it is incurred on behalf of the United Kingdom as a whole.

How would it look if everyone in the United Kingdom were treated equally?

As can be seen above, Scottish people benefit over the English by almost £1,700 per person annually. Northern Irish citizens benefit even more: by almost £2,200 per person.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Total subsidies from the UK taxpayer to Scotland, 2020-21

  • Scotland with subsidy : £81.1bn
  • Scotland without subsidy : £73.3bn
  • Subsidy to Scotland : £7.8bn

Which English regions do best and worst?

We do not have the figures broken down by county, but we do have them by region.

Among the English regions, public spending per person was lowest in the East Midlands at £12,133 (10% below the UK average) and highest in London at £15,490 (15% higher than the UK average).

  • East Midlands : £12,113
  • South East : £12,302
  • East : £12,482
  • South West : £12,607
  • Yorkshire and The Humber : £12,637
  • West Midlands : £12,841
  • North East : £13,480
  • North West : £13,658
  • London : £15,490

Prima facie it would appear that the Government’s “levelling up” agenda still has a long way to go in the East Midlands, and indeed in the South East of all places.

HM Treasury explain that the spending per person for London is highest because of the nature of UK-wide costs incurred in the capital.


We believe in the Union

The United Kingdom is rich in its diversity across all four nations of the Union. For generations we have successfully combined in so many ways to make the United Kingdom a major force on the world stage - and a country the vast majority of us are proud to live in.

“Ms Sturgeon, if you don’t want the rest of the UK, can we please have our money back?”

Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP seems determined to ignore the promise made by her party in 2014 that the ‘Indyref’ would be “the last in a lifetime”. Above we have shown just how much Scotland benefits financially from the Union.

When it comes to Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, the picture is even starker. This is only one reason why the people of Northern Ireland – including a great number of Nationalists – refuse to support unification with the Republic of Ireland.

Facts to inform debates

As ever, Facts4EU provides a clear summary of relevant information. It is then over to our readers to debate and to make up their own minds.

Wherever you live, Facts4EU.Org needs you today

We are a 'not for profit' team (we make a loss) and any donation goes towards the actual work, not plush London offices, lunch or taxi expenses, or other luxuries of some organisations.

We badly need more of our thousands of readers to donate. Could this be you, today? Maybe you've been thinking about it, but just haven't got around to doing it? If so, let us reassure you. It's quick and easy and we use two highly secure payment providers. And we do NOT ask you for further donations if you donate once - we just hope that you keep supporting us. Your donation stays anonymous unless you tell us otherwise.

Please don't assume that other people will keep us going - we don't receive enough to survive and we need your help today. Could you help us?

Most of our readers are well-informed and appreciate our fact-based articles, presented in a way you won't see anywhere else. If you value reports like the one above, please help our work with a donation. We have far more to do in researching, publishing, campaigning and lobbying Parliament than we have in terms of the financial resources to fulfil these tasks. We badly need funding to continue - we rely 100% on public donations from readers like you.

If you believe in a fully-free, independent, and sovereign United Kingdom, please make a donation now. It’s quick, secure, and confidential, and you can use one of the links below or you can use our Donations page here. You will receive a personal, friendly ‘thank you’ from a member of our team within 24 hours. Thank you for reading this.

[ Sources: HM Treasury | ONS | House of Commons Library ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Wed 22 June 2022

Click here to go to our news headlines

Please scroll down to COMMENT on the above article.
And don't forget to actually post your message after you have previewed it!

Share this article on

Something to say about this? Scroll down for reader comments

Since before the EU Referendum, Brexit Facts4EU.Org
has been the most prolific researcher and publisher of Brexit facts in the world.

Supported by MPs, MEPs, & other groups, our work has impact.

We think facts matter. Please donate today, so that we can continue to ensure a clean Brexit is finally delivered.

Any credit card user

Quick One-off


From £5 - £1,000



From £3 per month

Paypal Users Only - Choose amount first

Quick One-off