30/08/2011 04:14 BST | Updated 29/10/2011 06:12 BST

Anger Over Scots Spending Divide

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Scots receive more than £1,600 in state spending per head than people in England, Treasury figures have revealed.

Backbench Tory MPs criticised the discrepancy, which has grown in recent years.

The Treasury's annual Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses details how in 2010/11 projected average UK government spending per person was £8,588 in England, but £10,212 in Scotland.

Spending was also higher in Wales (£9,829) and Northern Ireland (£10,706).

The differences are down to the controversial and highly complex Barnett formula, devised by then Treasury chief secretary Joel Barnett in 1978.

It has been the subject of argument between the different regions of the UK ever since. English critics point out that the Scottish Government refuses to charge taxpayers for things including prescriptions and university tuition fees.

Tory MP David Mowat told the Daily Mail that the Government must tackle the issue.

"This is quite wrong and will rightly cause indignation in England. Many MPs are having to defend deeply unpopular cuts. We do so on the basis that there is no alternative and that the deficit must be brought down," he said.

"This argument looks a bit limp when the Coalition is able to fritter away billions of pounds to appease vested interests north of the border. We should have a funding formula that is based on need."

Another Tory MP, Gordon Henderson, added: "It is simply wrong that English taxpayers are being asked to help subsidise for people living in Scotland a range of services not available in England, including free prescriptions, free hospital parking, free accommodation in care homes and free university tuition fees."