Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, is to highlight official figures showing that only 283,080 households north of the border – 12 per cent of the total – pay more in tax than they receive in public services.
She will tell delegates that, because the public sector is seen as the key provider of everything from housing to employment, state spending now accounts for more than half Scotland’s wealth.
“The rotten system of patronage, which denies so many people real choices in their lives, has created a corrosive sense of entitlement which suits its political gang masters,” she will say. “Only 12 per cent are responsible for generating Scotland’s wealth. I wonder how many of them work on public sector contracts.”
Miss Davidson supported her claims by publishing figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed the average Scottish household consumes £14,151 more in public services every year than it pays in tax.
Even the families in the middle income groups consume around £20,000 more in state spending than they contribute.
However, those in the top 10 per cent pay £17,205 more in tax than they receive in public services.
Scotland provided our country with a flood of highly successful people (including my great-grandfather, John Caldwell – guess that line ran out) but, like Greece, it appears that those with get-up-and-go in their blood got-up-an-went 150 years ago. Lucky us, poor ol’ Scotland.