Yes, you read aright. It may not be one for the purists. But it is a brilliant piece of tactical politics.
There are elsewhere areas at least as remote as anywhere in Scotland, and areas poorer than anywhere at all there. So there has never been any moral case for what, in that context, are the obscene levels of public spending in Scotland. Far from being integral to the Union, that arrangement was devised by a man who is still alive, and who is flabbergasted that it still exists after all these years, as was never remotely the intention.
Its continuation was fundamental to the success of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, which for some reason receives little or no credit for this, in convincing Margaret Thatcher that Scotland was so "special" and "different" that almost all of her agenda could never be given effect there. In reality, it was that near-total exemption from Thatcherism which made Scotland significantly different, as had not previously been the case unless one happened to have had much to do with the legal system, or with the more institutional aspects of the Established Church, or to an extent with the education system.
Yet that same continuation was also demanded successfully by the Scottish Labour Party as compensation for the Thatcherite onslaught to which Scotland had never been subjected. There was no compensation for those who really had had to endure it. Like Thatcher, and indeed even more so, Blair had enough Scottish connections to know that he was being spun a ridiculous yarn. Unlike her, he was a County Durham MP who knew exactly who had really suffered in the Eighties. But neither of those facts ever made any difference.
Well, it can't last in the present climate, obviously. So the Scottish devolved body is to be given greater tax-raising powers, along with borrowing powers. Then, when the cuts come, Alex Salmond can be told to replace them by means of taxes raised solely in Scotland, or borrowing to be paid off at a later date out of taxes raised solely in Scotland, or both. Which, in the circumstances giving rise to the cuts in the first place, is hardly likely to go down very well. Is it?
Sometimes, people should get what they wish for...