An independent Scotland would face even tougher choices than those faced by the UK over the longer term.
In 2011–12, higher public spending per person in Scotland was more than matched by higher revenues from activity in the North Sea.
However, over the long-term, revenues from the North Sea will probably decline and official population projections suggest that the average age of the Scottish population will increase more rapidly than for the UK as a whole, putting greater upward pressure on many areas of public spending.
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Our experts take a look at the key issues that would face Scotland and the rest of the UK if Scots vote for independence.