Scotland’s economic wellbeing loses pace

Julian Harris
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SCOTLAND’S economic prosperity will be overtaken by countries such as Poland and Turkey by 2030, the head of an economic think tank will argue today.

Living standards in many poorer countries are rapidly closing the gap, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).

Polish GDP per capita was 19.3 per cent of Scotland’s in 2000, yet jumped to 36.1 per cent by 2010, the group calculated. In Turkey the same figure leapt from 18.4 per cent to 30.5 per cent, while South Korea moved from 49.2 per cent to 60.5 per cent.

CEBR chief Douglas McWilliams has previously commiserated and predicted the economic decline of Scotland, “unless it turns away from socialism.”

“At present rates, though, they will catch up by 2030 rather than 2050 as I had predicted ten years ago,” McWilliams said this morning.

“Scotland’s economic problem remains lack of entrepreneurship and over-government,” he added.

Just 2.6 new businesses were started in Scotland per thousand population, according to 2009 figures, compared to 3.9 across the whole of the UK, the group said.

Several government projects in Scotland have become notorious for over-expenditure, such as Edinburgh’s new tram line (pictured), which could cost over £1bn to the taxpayer by completion.