English taxpayers' money

27th April 2007 at 01:00
A study guide to the Higher modern studies exam, produced by Learning and Teaching Scotland, has found itself caught up in election fever amid claims by SNP supporters that it was fuelling a culture of dependency among young people.

Property developer Dan Macdonald, chief executive of Macdonald Estates, cited the following passage from the study guide: "There is no doubt that in 2004-05 Scotland did very well from the Barnett formula. pound;9.3 billion more was spent on Scotland than was raised in taxes. This extra money has come from taxpayers in England and is being spent on, for example, Scottish health care and education."

However, Mr Macdonald said: "The notion that our young people are being taught that they are being funded partly by the 'English taxpayer' is in itself a small but extremely damaging example of a culture which has been allowed to develop, which breeds an attitude that being less than self-sufficient is normal. It is a distortion of the truth."

A spokeswoman for Learning and Teaching Scotland confirmed the accuracy of the figures quoted in the guide, but said she could not comment on political issues.

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