With a vote on Scotland's independence from the UK becoming more inevitable, Scots want to know how an independent Scotland would pay its bills.
The recent revival of the debate on Scottish independence has sharpened focus on a pressing question: Can Scotland stand alone economically?
First Minister Alex Salmond, head of the Scottish government, today outlined his vision for the referendum, which he said will be held in fall 2014.
"Our nation is blessed with national resources, bright people, and a strong society. We have an independent education system, legal system, and [National Health System]. They are respected worldwide. I believe that if we connect the wealth of our land to the well being of our people, we can create a better country," he said.
Scotland has some control over its finances, but has no central tax-raising powers of its own, instead receiving a share of the British public purse. Critics say that share is disproportionately high, while Scottish nationalists say it is too low and doesn't accurately reflect the Scottish contribution to the economy.
Central to the economic argument is North Sea oil and gas, a key component of the Scottish and British economies that is expected to generate £13 billion ($20.2 billion) in tax revenues during the current financial year.
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