Proves what I always thought… parasites importing their 'dependency culture' to us via Gordon Brown and the rest of the Labour 'Scottish Mafia'…
Revealed: state's grip on Scotland
THE astonishing extent to which state spending is propping up Scotland's economy is laid bare in new figures which suggest the ballooning public sector is strangling wealth creation.
The findings show that in some areas, three-quarters of the local economy is made up solely of the billions of pounds pumped in by the government.
Such is the size of the public sector in these areas, business chiefs and economists fear it is swallowing up private enterprise, hoovering up talented workers and making it nearly impossible for companies to prosper.
The findings shed fresh light on Scotland's chronic dependency culture - in which the economy is becoming increasingly reliant upon state handouts to provide wages for the ever rising army of public sector workers.
It also provides a further explanation for why the country's growth remains at a laggardly 2% - compared with the UK's 2.7%.
The crisis has been exposed by a report written by economists at Scottish Enterprise. Its findings prompted a claim last week by Sir John Ward, the chairman of Scottish Enterprise that public sector spending was reaching "Eastern bloc" levels across the country.
Scotland on Sunday today reveals the full findings. The research shows how much of the economy in each of Scotland's 15 Health Board regions relies on government spending.
In Argyll and Clyde, 76% of the economy is generated from the state, in the form of spending by councils, health boards and through other forms of government activity. In Ayrshire and Arran, the figure is 74%. In Lanarkshire, it is 72%.
Only in oil-rich Grampian (35%) and finance-friendly Lothians (39%) do the figures fall below comparable English levels. Across the UK, state spending accounts for approximately 40% of the economy.
The figures have almost certainly been boosted by the rocketing sums spent by Scotland's government since devolution. By 2008, Scottish Executive spending will be double that of 1999. Scotland's benefits bill has also rocketed. Scottish Enterprise claims that total public spending in Scotland in 2002-03 reached £40bn, or 55% of Scotland's total economy.
Business chiefs warned that the high levels were ruining hopes of boosting growth.
Alan Mitchell of CBI Scotland said: "To have that much of the economy generated by wealth spending rather than wealth creating can't be good for the Scottish economy long term.
"It has a major effect on the ability of companies to recruit and retain staff. Their margins are tight and they cannot compete in terms of holidays, pensions, childcare and all the other add-ons that the public sector can offer. If we don't have ambitious small to medium size businesses growing then we aren't going to develop that economy long term."
Jim Gorie, acting president of the Forum for Private Business in Scotland, added: "Excessive public spending starves the private sector of much-needed capital to help it modernise."
Jim Mather, enterprise spokesman for the SNP said high levels of public spending would leave Scotland dangerously exposed when government funding was cut back.