An independent oil fund set up with a similar model to Norway’s, can drive growth and create prosperity in Scotland if the country votes for independence in September, the Scottish government has said.
The government is about to publish figures that shows that Scotland can be independent and that it can become wealthier by establishing an oil fund from after the independence from the UK, on which Scottish people will have their say in September’s referendum.
Speaking about the plan for the fund, finance secretary John Swinney said, “Westminster’s decision to deprive Scotland of an oil fund has cost us £17,000 – £23,000.
“If we pursue the policies that only an independent Scotland will be able to pursue then we can deliver an oil fund from the point of independence and secure an economic bonus that can only be delivered by independence.”
Swinney blamed “Westminster mismanagement of our resources” for the fact that the Scottish fund did not prosper as the Norwegian oil fund, currently worth more than £500 billion.
“With independence we can use our new powers to grow productivity, to boost the numbers of people in work and the population of working age – particularly among women – to increase exports and to re-industrialise Scotland”, he said.
Alistair Darling, head of Better Together, which campaigns against the independence commented, “You could not establish an oil fund without having to borrow that money and that then has to be funded by taxation, and that would be an absolutely ridiculous position to get yourself into.”
He added that oil reserves in the North Sea were in decline.
“We cannot allow ourselves to be in a situation where we end up being so reliant on a volatile and diminishing commodity like oil that you end up having to tax more or cut more in order to make ends meet. It’s a ridiculous position to be in.”
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