Blow to UK Treasury as senior academic describes its figures as "misleading"
By Lynda Williamson (27 May 2014)
A senior academic from the London School of Economics has said that the UK Treasury's analysis of an independent Scotland's start-up costs "badly misrepresents" the LSE's research.
In the analysis paper, to be published this week, HM Treasury claims that Scotland would require 180 government departments when the UK itself has only 24. It uses the LSE research to extrapolate the costs of initial setup of these bodies and arrives at a figure of £2.7 billion.
However, the analysis fails to take into account the fact that much of the departmental infrastructure needed by an independent Scotland exists already and also confuses public bodies with ministerial departments.
Commenting, Professor Dunleavy explained that his estimate of costs applied to the "chaotic" way in which the last Labour government set up new departments and that setup costs could be reduced by careful planning and orderly transition. He estimated that the true figure would be closer to £150 million - £200 million, less than one tenth the figure claimed by the Treasury.
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