David Bell

David Bell's picture
University of Stirling
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+44 (0)1786 467486
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Beliefs about how the Scottish economy may perform after independence will be critical to the outcome of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. Aside from its effect on income, another major concern for voters will be whether an independent Scottish economy will be able or wish to support the level of public services they currently enjoy. Taxpayers will want to know how taxes may change to pay for public services after independence.

This fellowship will produce original research looking at fiscal aspects of the constitutional change debate in the UK. It will encompass both taxes and spending, and will offer insights into questions such as: How would public services be funded in an independent Scotland? Would current levels of services – and the taxation that funds them – be similar, or vary up or down?

Fellowship website: Scottish Fiscal and Economic Studies (ScotFES)

Project Job Role: 
Professor of Economics


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Member for
5 years 3 months

Posts by this author:

David Bell looks at how fiscal devolution will lead to greater asymmetry across the Celtic nations and confuse the Barnett Formula. This post originally appeared on Holyrood.com The system of territorial funding in the UK is descending into chaos. If the coalition’s present plans for devolving finan... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
The latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report published yesterday presented Scotland’s public sector accounts until 2013/14. It showed that Scotland had a net fiscal deficit (i.e. a gap between government spending and tax revenues) of £12.4bn in 2013/14. Expressed as a percent... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Great play was made of the devolution of aspects of UK welfare provision to the Scottish Parliament as part of the Smith process. However, explains David Bell, this may not be as simple or as significant as its proponents suggest. The “vow” that the main UK party leaders made to boost the powers of... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
On 18th January 2015, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney, announced that he is revising the residential tax element of the land and building transaction tax (LBTT). Mr Swinney had  announced the rates for LBBT in his draft budget in October 2014. These are shown below: Source: Scottish... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, 11 December 2014 - Evidence from Professor David Bell and Mr David Eiser, Stirling University The Draft Scottish Budget 2018-19 Strategic Context It is a pleasure to introduce the Draft 2018-19 Budget to the Scottish Parliament. This will be the first year in... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
George Osborne made a typically robust defence of his economic record in the last Autumn Statement of this Parliament. Some of the measures he announced may well pay electoral dividends. Although the amounts involved are relatively small, the reduction of Air Passenger Duty for children and the revi... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
The Scottish Budget under the Smith Proposals David Bell and David Eiser The Smith Commission proposals seek to increase the powers of the Scottish Parliament and to secure a corresponding increase in the Parliament’s accountability and responsibility for the effects of its decisions and their resul... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
David Bell and David Eiser explore fiscal power issues and the proposals that have already been tabled. This blog originally appeared on the Scottish Fiscal and Economic Studies (ScotFES) website The referendum on Scottish independence indicated that a majority of the Scottish people wish to remain... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
David Bell on the success of the bookies in predicting the indyref results. This post was originally published on ScotFES. The referendum campaign lasted more than 2 years. Over that time, more than 100 opinion polls addressed the question “should Scotland be an independent country”. Many thousands... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
David Bell explains the differences between the latest polls and the bookmakers odds. The latest odds (Sunday 14th September) show that the implied probability of a No vote, based on the odds offered by 24 bookmakers up to midday on Sep 14th have stabilised at around 0.8. To find out how I calculate... Read more
Post type: Blog entry


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