• in May 2014, the UK national debt was £1.4 trillion, or 90% of GDP, overshooting the 60% of GDP upper limit permitted by the Maastricht Treaty, by which EU members must abide.
• An independent Scotland would take on a national debt of £116 billion, rising to £186 billion, including bank liabilities.
• In 2012/2013, an independent Scotland’s deficit would be £3,226 per head.
• Using the Scottish Governments own statistics, if Scotland secured a population share of North Sea oil, its annual deficit would be more than four times the Maastricht limit. Only Greece and Slovenia would be worse off.
• If an independent Scotland adhered to the Maastricht debt limit of 60% of GDP, as it would be obliged to as a condition of EU readmission, then the average household would be £3,400-£5,500 worse off, plus another £500-£1,000 a year for every £100,000 borrowed on their mortgage
• Scotland would also need to prove itself to capital markets by a period of fiscal discipline – in a nutshell, behave itself and not overspend/overstretch itself. Failure to do so risks higher borrowing costs.
• Over many decades, the UK government has built up international credibility with global lenders. Scotland has no track record.
For more in-depth analysis, please click here for the full-version of the white paper, Much cost, little benefit