So, this is a tweet from Simon Paterson. Of course, I’ve no way of authenticating it, but it does kinda go some way to explaining the strange figures that are quoted at us by unionist parties.


71 thoughts on “I’VE WONDERED ABOUT THIS”

  1. So … basically … whenever anyone of those tosspots from the government darn surf have a go at Scotland we now have the evidence, sort of, that we can fling back into their ugly mugs and state quite categorically, almost, that THEY are due US the export figures correctly allocated to Scotland and remove OUR exports from THEIR records claiming them as U.K. exports (i.e. rUK exports)

    This is yet another excellent example of incompetent lazy government at work.

    Can you imagine what affect allocating Scottish Whisky exports CORRECTLY would do the Scottish G.D.P. figures… blow Westminster oot the water I reckon. LOL


    1. Well, it’s not evidence as i can’t source it, or verify it. By the same token, I’ve no reason to doubt it.

      So, it’s not just whisky. It’s anything that we physically export that its taken from an English port.

      As you way, there wold be some Gers blowing out of the water going on.


        1. I cite sources from ScotGov, HMRC HMT, EU legislation and a written FoI response from ScotGov statisticians but sure, that’s the same thing as some bloke screenshotting his evidenceless opinion on Apple Notes


      1. Mr Whyte, The document you refer to and the letter from HMRC it contains is specifically talking about EXPORT DUTY. Duty is not payable on goods exported. The tweet from Mr Paterson isn’t talking about Export Duty, it’s talking about export figures. Having worked in the Scottish Whisky industry for a major exporter I can confirm that C&E returns which are used to calculate export figures are taken from the port of export, not the place of manufacture.
        Incidentally, in calculating the value of the export of spirits, the figure used excludes any duty or vat that would be payable were the goods to be sold in the UK.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Jake, you are wrong I’m afraid. This letter deals with allocation of GDP from whisky production and allocation of whisky exports, quite clearly stating “the value of these exports are all assigned to Scotland”.

          See update 3. https://whytepaper.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/meme-busting-whisky-and-the-non-existent-export-duty/

          I also provide the RTS tables for spirit exports showing them correctly assigned to Scotland.

          Please stop making stuff up.


  2. Surely the conclusion that Scotch whisky is not included in Scottish GDP is not right. The important point is that it’s not included in Scottish exports. This would make a huge difference to an independent Scotland’s Balance of Payments if we had our own currency.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Exports are now assigned to the port of exit”

        “Port of exit”

        Port of exit is in England, so you’re saying that the exports are assigned to an English port?

        I thought you said that they weren’t?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry, typo there Illy. Should say “not assigned to port of exit”.

        If Scotland was independent and rUK assigned import duties on Scottish goods then yes, that would be the destination country charging duties. Big ifs though


    1. If you read the document you cite closely you will see that when it talks about the GERS figures it is talking about spirits consumed in the UK ( and which do attract a payment of duty). I’ll happily concede that when are spirits consumed in the UK the duty that is payable on them is allocated to Scotland, England, N.Ireland Wales etc and this is reflected in the Gers figures. I would make two small caveats however: firstly, the duty is payable when the spirits leave the bonded warehouse, which is not the same as the point of consumption and I should point out that some Scottish manufacturers and producers transport cased spirits under bond to storage( bonded) facilities in England and ( strange though it may seem) it is from these distribution hubs that they are then supplied, duty paid, to wholesale and retail outlets including outlets in Scotland. These Home Trade figures, and duty calculations, are attributed to the English storage distribution warehouses, not the point of manufacture or even the point of final consumption ( which may be anywhere in the UK). Secondly, with regard to the Scottish manufacture of bulk spirit for gin production, this product manufactured in Scotland is sent under Bond ( ie prior to duty being paid) in bulk containers ( by road and/or rail) to facilities in England where it is “rectified” and given the designation London Gin etc. Only when it is removed from Bond, in England, is the duty calculation made.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1- you’re looking at the wrong letter, this one refers to the allocation of GDP and export stats and has no reference to UK sales whatsoever https://whytepaper.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/scotgov-response-whisky-export-allocation.jpg

        2 – you’ve now switched from talking about export stats and their collation to excise duty allocation for sales within the UK. Completely different topic

        3 – that’s not how excise duty is assigned in GERS. Excise duty essentially being a consumption tax it is assigned according to the volume and type of alcohol purchased in Scotland. To quote the GERS methodology:

        “The estimation of alcohol duty raised in Scotland is based on the premise that the burden of duty is borne by the final consumer rather than the producer. UK alcohol duty revenues are taken from ONS’ database underlying the Public Sector Finances for:  Spirits;  Cider and perry;  Wine; and  Beer.

        Scotland’s share of total UK private household consumption of these different alcohol products is then used to derive the proportion of duty attributable to Scotland. “


      1. my guess would be because there are not any or very few at least cargo planes flying out of Scotland. The only cargo airline I’m aware of at the moment seems to be Cargolux that flies in and out of Prestwick to and from the USA and Europe.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fuel efficency and geography, probably. A big plane does five gallons to the mile – yes, that’s gpm rather than mpg! A fully laden articulated lorry does about five mpg. Converted to mpg, the plane’s consumption can be given as ~0.25mpg.

        So the question is, will that one plane carry more cargo than 20 lorries? well, 20 lorries = 800 tons. The biggest 747 cargo variant is limited to 154 tons. By not using planes for the bit between Edinburgh and London, they can ship four times as much cargo back and forth for the same costs.

        Forget about air shipping. Would be better to invest in Rosyth port and establish sea transport routes – both freight and passenger roll-on-roll-off – to continental europe.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There is also the matter of Scottish farm produce being sent to England for processing before some being returned on the back of supermarket trucks.
    Doubt that is counted as “exports”.
    Westminster stats are deliberately vague as far as Scotland is concerned and we will only get a true picture when we have our own customs and full tax collecting powers.
    People are rightly suspicious of the whole shebang when London refuses to allow Scotland control over these matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, and I know it’s not the same thing, but I imagine all the tax from these supermarkets, with head offices in England… Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrison, Waitrose, must credited to England where they are registered for VAT, NI etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Off topic, and a dumb shower thought:

    Does anyone think that there’s any space in the marketplace for a company that employs literally anyone, for almost nothing, to do almost nothing (but for 9 hours a day)? The secret purpose would be to get them off unemployment (and away from the torture of jobcenters) and onto working tax credits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds a wee bit like the national payment that they are trialling in Finland, Holland and parts of Canada. Of course there you don’t need to do anything at all and it probably removes the need for WTC (if they have them over there)..

      Back in the late 1990s I worked on a project called Project Work. It took long term unemployed people off the dole, paid them a £10 allowance and made them work 18 hours a week in a charity.

      During this 13 weeks they were considered to be on training courses, although there was no money available for any real training, and when the 13 weeks was up they went back on the dole, but, because they had been on training for 13 weeks, they became short -term unemployed.

      It was a pointless exercise which benefited no one much. Out of 700+ people that went through our course, only one that I know of got a job.

      But it made the long-term unemployed figures look far far better.


      1. “Sounds a wee bit like the national payment that they are trialling in Finland, Holland and parts of Canada.”

        Personally, I think that a citizens’ wage is a damned good idea, and should be implemented as a negative tax to save on additional bureaucracy (seriously, I’ve run back-of-an-envelope calculations, and it could be cheaper to just adjust the tax bands so that you pay negative tax at low earnings, than to keep paying all these jobcenter staff to be evil). But that’s (sort of) a separate issue. This is essentially a workaround to kill off the evils of jobcenters, with their sanction quotas and psychological torture, without needing to get a majority at Westminster to do it. Just setting up a private company and using the Tories’ employment law loopholes to get people a liveable income.

        What I’m thinking is that current jobcenter policy tortures people, but working tax credits (which top up underpaid workers to a slightly less impossible-to-live-on standard) doesn’t. Also, you hear about all these big company CEOs paying themselves stupid money, and paying their workers squat, and getting the government to make up the difference in working tax credits. Why not use that model, but cut costs to the business to almost nothing by not having the overpaid CEO, and make the work fair for the pay (ie, squat), and then get the government to make up the difference the same way they do for other underpaid workers? Its a private company filling a gap in the marketplace, so the Tories should love it, right? They’d even love it more because it would kill unemployment figures.

        Its not meant to help people who are unemployed, beyond getting them away from sanctions quotas and other torture devices that jobcenters employ. But I personally think that that would help them quite a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes. It sounds like a plan, and getting people away from that dreadful place is certainly worth a bit of effort.

          I’ve a friend who has always thought that if you could borrow a million pounds, give half of it to the Tories and then hint that you would like to take over the running of something, like the probation service, or these health tests (Atos), probably best not to do air traffic control though…
          get the contract and loads of dosh; don’t do the job at all (but employ loads of people on government money, keeping them away from that evil Damien Green blokey) and then give another donation to the Tory party.

          In the end you should come out as a companion of honour or a lord or some other medieval thing, and with pot of money and you’ve saved a load of decent people from the job centre.

          The downside ids that you’d probably have to meet with Philip Hammond. God, what a ghastly thought.


  5. Fraser Whyte seeems to have stopped responding. Were his comments “just a myth from people seeking to undermine economic figures they find inconvenient.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. :Which is why I directed you to update 3 which deals specifically with that. Exports are now assigned to the port of exit. It is a myth.:

    I think you have ended up confusing yourself now Fraser.

    Everyone on this post have been talking about exports and their affect on G.D.P. not export duty. You eventually come up with the comment about update and lo and behold you end up agreeing with not only us but what is stated in the original tweet from Simon Paterson.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The semantics of this are neither here nor there. It is a fact that the UK is one of the largest net importers in the world. It is also the case that countries of similar population in our neighbourhood – specifically Eire and Norway – both export more than Scotland does as a percentage of GDP. And both run considerable surpluses. It would appear that including the oil Scotland is a very slight net exporter. But our export performance – while better than rUK – is not in itself as good as should be.

    It is an indictment that under UK stewardship of the Scottish economy we have slumped from being one of the worlds leading exporting nations to a place where we Scots just and no more balance our external trade.

    Independence will be no guarantee of anything, but remaining shackled to the UK will be a guarantee that our economy will be dragged down with theirs. Trade deficits and colossal fiscal gaps cannot be sustained for ever. The only upside I can see to Brexit is that the loss of the financial services will help to keep down the price of Sterling. The resulting drop in the standard of living that the ordinary people have to endure may be enough to spark the long overdue realisation that you cannot have a harmonious society where a small number of people get all the wealth and the rest get screwed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be nice if it finally got through to people that we have, despite all their bragging about being some sort of mega superpower, that in fact most people’s lives are fairly crap, and all teh figures that prove otherwise are MASSIVELY skewed by the fabulous wealth of about 5% of the population.


  8. I thought folks might like to consider this extract from

    Until recently reports published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and The World Bank on “Paying Taxes: The Global Picture” provided a table which showed the number of pages of primary legislation in the world’s top economies.

    The 2006 report indicated that India had the longest code, at 9,000 pages, and the UK had the second longest, at 8,300 pages. Other countries, by way of comparison, were the USA – 5,100 pages, Germany – 1,700 pages, Netherlands – 1,640 pages, France – 1,300 pages, Sweden – 700 pages and Spain – 530 pages.

    The 2008 report said that “At 8,300 pages the UK has the second longest tax code of any measured country, the longest of any developed economy, and is two and a three quarter times the mean of the twenty countries with the longest tax codes.”

    This from the Parliament where Tory MPs complain about all the red tape from Brussels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. Gordon Brown loved to complicate everything, but seriously, you’d think that with 6.5 years under their belt the Tories might have managed to find someone who knew enough about it to simplify it. Obviously not old Gideon, who probably didn’t really know what tax was.

      I suspect that they rather like it kept complex. That way Price Waterhouse Cooper can run rings around the civil service at the treasury, and the likes of Philip Green can buy yachts with the money they might have paid in tax if they had been human beings.


  9. “Scottish whisky accounts for almost 1/4 of all uk food and drink exports” HMRC Foreign Office.

    Anyone know what that turns out to be in monetary terms?


        1. It’s a valuable export, no doubt about it. Real success story.

          Not sure what you mean by “britnats are worried” though. I’d fully expect independence to negatively effect both Scotland and rUK but not on this particular field given Scotland has a trade deficit of about £6bn with rUK before you even look at net factor payments.


  10. There’s a first for the Republic, being trolled by a libdem, referencing his own blog as evidence.
    The whole point is, Frazer, in an independent Scotland all duties will be payable to the Scottish government; not Westminster, therefore your argument means naught.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GERS currently allocates all duties and revenues to Scotland which should be accrued to Scotland. In other words, there would be no change to Scottish revenue from the whisky industry simply by the act of independence. Any claim to the contrary is simply wrong.

      I simply cite the facts and I linked to my blog which references all the sources that are required because it is simpler than copying and pasting to the comments section here. If you would like to contest any of the sources I have produced or the facts that I relate then please feel free.


      1. Ah’ll answer masel: UK Statistics Authority
        1 Drummond Gate
        SW1V 2QQ

        From the United Kingdom Statistics Authority confirming the status of Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland as a National Statistics.

        Might be others; Ah’ll keep lookin.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Difficut to see how figures can be collated completely seperately for Scotland without a collated imput from England. Worrying. Especially since Westminster’s handling of the uk’s economy is woeful to say the least. Better by far we loose ourselves before being dragged down by britnat incompetence. Still looking for the actual people responsible for GERS; the actual accountants etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “The consistency between the methods and classifications used to produce
        statistics in GERS and in the UK Public Sector Finances Statistics allows
        reasoned comparison between Scottish public finances statistics and those for
        the UK as a whole.”

        “The Scottish Government presents two methods for estimating Scotland’s
        share of UK revenues associated with offshore oil and gas activity in
        GERS: a population share estimate and a geographical share estimate. The
        geographical share estimate is based on a financial model produced by the
        University of Aberdeen. Since the last publication of GERS,
        HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published an analysis of UK tax revenues which is
        notionally divided between UK countries
        These are described as ‘experimental statistics’. Whilst the HMRC analysis broadly adopts the
        geographical share approach for North Sea revenues, the estimates are not
        consistent with the equivalent Scottish Government geographical
        apportionment estimates. Moreover, the shares of other tax revenues used in GERS
        differ from those used in HMRC’s country analysis. This could be
        confusing to users.”

        Mmmm, the last two sentences especially are worrying.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Not really. The Scottish Government just take the opportunity to impart different methods if they think they can improve it.

          Anyway, I’ve had enough of spamming this comments section and we’re going waaay off-topic


      4. Aye Ah seen that too but it still doesn’t say who the actual accountants and it still doesn’t say if these accountants from Scotland consult with the couterparts in England. Surely they must; it’s inconceivable for one part of the uk to do these figures without consulting with the other parts. And if there is consultation between Scotland and England accountancies, how can they trust each other’s information?


      5. “The Scottish Government operates on the basis of the ‘who benefits?’ principle
        in relation to expenditure and ‘who pays?’ principle with regard to revenues –
        based upon the residential location of where the revenues are raised, when actual data are not available. This is a different concept to those used in the National Accounts, which are based on the concept of transactions taking place in an economic territory.”

        So two different sets of accounting in use.

        “GERS both presents and provides links to information about the methods used
        (for example in the accompanying technical guidance].
        However, it does not include detailed information about the model itself; we understand that this
        information has not been made available to the Scottish Government.
        As a result the Scottish Government has been unable to fully validate the key
        estimate derived from the model − the proportion of tax revenues which can be
        attributed to Scotland…”

        Most worrying.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The difference in non-identifiable spending attributed to the methodological change in your first quote is pretty small and in all cases works in Scotland’s benefit. And like I said it’s a variance in methodology because ScotGov statisticians believe they have a better method. it’s really not a big deal.

          The second refers to Alex Kemp’s model on assigning oil and gas revenues per a ‘geographic basis’. Of course he hasn’t released the details of the model, they’d be proprietary information – his intellectual property. If you want to doubt a peer-reviewed model from a world-renowned oil and gas expert then go ahead.

          Not really sure what you think spamming this comments section with pasted sections from the methodologies is achieving. It has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the blog.


      6. You were the one who first mentioned GERS. Also realized that ruk exports of food and drink is even less than £12bn since Scotland’s meat and fish exports still have to come off that figure. It’s looking even worse for the britnats.

        As I said afore it’s difficut to see how figures can be collated completely seperately for Scotland without a collated imput from England. Worrying. Especially since Westminster’s handling of the uk’s economy is woeful to say the least. Better by far we loose ourselves before being dragged down by britnat incompetence. Still looking for the actual people responsible for GERS; the actual accountants etc. The more you look into it the more dubious GERS becomes.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I know we are all bored of the subject, but our friend google churns up a couple of interesting things. Exports from the YUK are about 3.9 billion pounds. But that is apparently 99 million cases of 12 bottles – so 1188 million bottles. That looks like an average bottle price of £3.28. I assume that the taxes levied on production thus all go to the countries where it is retailed.

    Sales of hooch in the UK are supposedly about 85 million bottles. But even cheap stuff will cost a retailer about a tenner a bottle ( ex VAT ) – and a big chunk of that is tax. So retail wise its probably bringing the exchequer in close to a billion in taxes. However, I presume if Scotland was independent we’d only get the excise money on the bit sold in Scotland. 100 million or so maybe? Most of the production is owned by foreign companies, so I suppose we can expect any taxes on profits to be remitted abroad too. I expect the most we make out of it is the jobs. And it would be good for our trade balance.

    Ireland exports a higher value in orthopaedic devices than our champion whisky industry exports including the rUK’s £250-300 million quids worth ( at £3-28 a bottle ).

    We need to develop our economy. We can do that best if we do that ourselves. Nobody in another country will be as pro Scotland than us.


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