The State Scots Are In

The state Scots are in.

BBC Scotland's business editor Douglas Fraser has been examining how reliant we are on the state from cradle to grave. Here, he sets a number of multiple choice questions to test how much you know about Scotland and its public sector.


1.) Multiple choice question

What is the maximum salary for someone classified as a classroom teacher?

teacher in classroom
  1. £28,000
  2. £34,000
  3. £40,000

2.) Multiple Choice Question

For every three young Scotsmen who go on from school into higher education, how many young Scotswomen will do so?

two young people
  1. Two
  2. Three
  3. Four

3.) Multiple Choice Question

The largest Health Board in Scotland is Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Which is the smallest one?

nurses on ward
  1. Orkney
  2. Western Isles
  3. Shetland

4.) Multiple Choice Question

Who said that the sound of a bed pan being dropped in South Wales should reverberate around the Palace of Westminster?

  1. William Beveridge
    William Berveridge
  2. Aneurin Bevan
    Aneurin Bevan
  3. Michael Foot
    Michael Foot

5.) Multiple Choice Question

How many people aged 85 and over live in Scotland

  1. About 50,000
  2. More than 100,000
  3. More than 150,000

6.) Multiple Choice Question

For the average Scotswoman who reaches the age of 65, how much longer can she expect to live?

older woman smiling
  1. Eleven years
  2. Fifteen years
  3. Nineteen years

7.) Multiple Choice Question

What is the basic weekly rate for those on short term incapacity benefit?

disabled parking bays
  1. £69 per week
  2. £89 per week
  3. £109 per week

8.) Multiple Choice Question

What percentage of Scotland's population is of pensionable age compared with the percentage of those under the age of 16?

old persona and baby
  1. 20% (pensioners) 18% (under 16)
  2. 27% (pensioners) 10% (under 16)
  3. 14% (pensioners) 20% (under 16)

9.) Multiple Choice Question

If a quarter of Holyrood’s budget is spent on education, how much is spent on health?

hospital ward
  1. Two thirds
  2. Two quarters
  3. One third


  1. In Scotland the ceiling for classroom pay is £34,000 - the Office for National Statistics says that the average annual salary for UK workers last year was £25,428.
  2. Four is the correct answer. Did you know that students in higher education (HE) in Scotland increased by 2.6 per cent in 2008-09 to stand at 279,615 - in the same period HE student numbers for the whole of the UK rose by 3.9 per cent.
  3. All three are pretty small - but Orkney has the smallest health board. Its population stands at just under 20,000 - Western Isles' head count is just over 26,000 and Shetland resident numbers come in at about 22,000.
  4. Aneurin Bevan is the correct answer. He was said to be one of the most important ministers of the post-war Labour government and the chief architect of the National Health Service.
  5. The right answer is more than 100,000 and that figure is set to rise further. By 2032, the UK's 85-year-olds and over will reach 3.1 million - representing 4% of the total population.
  6. Nineteen years is correct. In the UK in 1982 there were 155 women aged 65 and over for every 100 men of the same age. It is expected that by 2032 there will be 120 women aged 65 and over for every 100 men of the same age.
  7. The right answer is £69. Incapacity benefit is a social security benefit payable to those who are incapable of work because of illness or disability. For the first 28 weeks of incapacity, benefit is payable at a short term lower rate.
  8. Option one is correct. In 2009, 18% of the population was under 16 while 20% was of pensionable age (60 and over for women and 65 and over for men). The remaining 63% was of working age (16-59 for women, 16-64 for men).
  9. About one third of the Holyrood budget goes to fund the Scottish health service. The Scottish government is expecting a cut in its budget but has pledged to protect spending on frontline public services, such as schools and hospitals.

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As Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review looms closer, BBC Scotland news is taking a look at what the State spends and how the public will be affected by budget cuts.

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