GERS Figures show that Oil & Gas can still be engine room of early years of an Independent Scotland
Alex Salmond’s ALBA Party have today welcomed news that Scotland’s energy potential shows the underlying strength of an independent Scotland.
ALBA Party Westminster leader Neale Hanvey MP says that the past year’s oil revenues, and those projected in coming years, should act as the “engine room of the early years of an independent Scotland”.
He has today urged the independence movement not to “disregard such a massive economical and political opportunity” stating that it would be foolhardy to do so.
Today’s GERS figures show that as a result of large North Sea revenues Scotland has seen the deficit between revenue and expenditure reduce by 30%.
Scottish revenue increased by £15 billion over the 2022/23 tax year - an increase of 20.7% compared to 11.3% for the UK.
This includes a £6.9bn increase in North Sea revenue and a £1.9bn increase from Scottish income tax.
However, Hanvey says that this “snapshot” of Scotland as part of the UK doesn’t “scratch the surface” of the economic potential Scotland’s growing renewables sector would bring to the country if independent.
ALBA Party have also highlighted that GERS figures illustrate that most economic decisions are still made by the UK Government – approximately 64% of revenue figures and 41% of the spending figures are reserved - with Scotland having no control over underlying fiscal policy or expenditure on policies such as Trident which is expected to cost over an estimated £205 Billion over the lifetime of the replacement weapons programme.
Commenting ALBA Party Westminster leader Neale Hanvey MP said:
"Since Scotland’s vast oil reserves were first exploited £300 Billion has flowed to Westminster. We know from the OBR and the Chancellor’s own Autumn Statement that the equivalent of £16,000 for every man, woman and child in Scotland will go to the Treasury over next five years from the North Sea."
"In 2014 the Labour Tory Better Together Coalition said that Scotland’s oil was running out, today it’s keeping the UK afloat."
"Today’s GERS figures show that a sustainable future for the North Sea Oil and Gas industry can continue to be the engine room of the early year’s of an independent Scotland. Meanwhile the deployment of carbon capture technology on an industrial scale in the North Sea and as a condition of development can make that investment compatible with the future of the planet."
"The independence movement would be foolhardy to disregard such a massive economical and political opportunity."
"However, GERS are merely a snapshot of Scottish expenditure and revenues as part of the UK, they don’t scratch the surface of Scotland’s renewable potential that we will benefit from in the year’s to come, or account for Scotland having no say on UK expenditure on wasteful obscenities such as Trident."
"ALBA Party’s Depute leader Kenny MacAskill has led the way in highlighting just how vast this renewable bounty is for Scotland, wind energy is already our biggest and cheapest way of generating electricity and, from offshore wind alone, Scotland could soon produce five times or more our own electricity requirements."
"This could become as massive an economic and industrial advantage as Oil and Gas should have been - a second energy opportunity for Scotland."