Wales politics

Cut public spending in Scotland if it stays in UK, poll told

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Media captionThe survey show Welsh voters want Scotland to remain part of the UK

Almost half of voters in Wales think public spending in Scotland should be cut if Scots vote to remain in the UK, according to a new survey.

Forty eight per cent of Welsh and 56% of English voters said this should follow any rejection of independence.

Public spending per head in Scotland was £10,327 in 2012-13, compared to the UK average of £8,940.

Professor Roger Scully of Cardiff University said the English were more keen to play "hard-ball" with Scotland.

The study was carried out by researchers from Cardiff and Edinburgh universities and YouGov, ahead of the Scottish referendum on independence on 18 September.

In Wales, where more than 1,000 voters were surveyed, 48 per cent backed a cut in Scotland's share of UK public spending in the event of a No vote, while 12 per cent disagreed.

When the researchers asked more than 3,600 voters in England they found a higher proportion - 56% - in favour of a reduction, with only 9 percent against.

However, 42% of both English and Welsh voters said the Scottish Parliament should be given control of the majority of taxes raised in Scotland.


On voting in the House of Commons if independence is rejected, 62% of English voters wanted to block Scottish MPs from voting on laws applying only to England, while in Wales 53% backed the principle.

The survey found high levels of opposition to Scottish independence - from 61% of voters in Wales and 59% in England, with 19% per cent of each nation's voters in favour.

Prof Roger Scully of Cardiff University's Welsh Governance Centre said: "It's interesting that while there is almost no difference in the views of people in England and Wales about what they wish to see happen in the Scottish referendum, there are clear differences in how people wish to see the aftermath dealt with.

"Put bluntly, the English are more inclined to want to play hard-ball with Scotland.

"Those in Wales are notably more cautious about this, and more favourable to a more conciliatory approach."

Surveys were conducted by YouGov over the internet, of a representative sample of 3,695 adults in England and 1,027 in Wales between 11 to 22 April 2014.

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