The 'Standard' carried a paragraph yesterday:
London and the South-East's subsidy to the rest of the country is rising rapidly and is now nearly £40 billion a year compared with just over £20 billion in 2004. The study by Oxford Economics balances Government spending against tax revenues in each region. It shows that London, the South-East and the Eastern regions made a net contribution of £37.7 billion to the UK public finances in 2007. The North, the Midlands and the South-West joined Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland as a net drain on the Exchequer.
Which prompted me to find the original report to see exactly how much Scotland's deficit is running at. And was astonished by the data - most easily understood in the graphs below. Scotland is very nearly fiscally balanced; Salmond would only need to raise an additional £2bn a year in taxes from the Scots to break even. It seems what London and the South East is really paying for are public services in Wales and Northern Ireland. Which makes the DUP's recent treachery over 42 days even more galling.