Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has raised her concerns for the future of young Scots if the status quo remains meaning a repeat of Westminster’s mismanagement of Scotland’s resources in a debate on Scotland’s Financial Strength.
“Even the opposition parties no longer argue that Scotland is too poor to survive financially following independence. The figures from the Westminster Government clearly show that with 8.4% of the population Scotland pays in 9.9% of UK revenues, but only receives 9.3% back. The ‘can we afford to be independent argument’ has been won.
“Scotland is actually performing well in the face of a global recession. The latest Global Connections Survey showed that the value of Scottish exports increased by £1.6bn to £23.9bn in 2011, with exports to the EU up 14.7% and exports to Asia up 8.7% on the 2010 figure. The top five exporting industries in 2011 were: food and beverages (£4.2 billion); manufacture of coke, refined petroleum and chemicals (£3.7 billion); computer, electronic and optical products (£1.4 billion), financial and insurance activities (£1.4 billion) and the mechanical engineering sector (£1.4 billion). Together these industries accounted for around 50 per cent of total international exports from Scotland.
“So why aren’t ordinary Scots seeing the benefit of this? It is the same reason why Scotland is the only country in the world to strike oil and stay poor. Scotland’s resources go to London and London decides what Scotland gets back. This situation does not serve Scotland or her people.
“Forty years ago when Scotland struck oil there was great optimism for the benefits this resource would bring to the people, so much so that great efforts were made by Westminster to curb nationalism as the UK treasury needed to boost its own coffers. Forty years on and what do we have? Not an oil fund like Norway, its resources being used to protect its citizens from the recession. No, we get austerity, bedroom tax and some of our brightest Scots begrudgingly leaving their homeland to pursue their careers elsewhere due to lack of opportunities at home.
“It is not right that THIS is Scotland’s oil legacy. We should have so much more to show for the £285bn that the UK Treasury has pocketed through oil revenues over the past 40 years. There is estimated to be £1.5 trillion worth of oil left, we mustn’t make the same mistakes again and allow London to benefit from Scotland’s resources. The only way to do that is to vote YES in 2014”
Linda’s contribution at 1:02:06
According to Professor Alex Kemp of Aberdeen University: ‘Over the period 1976-2011, the total royalty and tax revenues (from UKCS) have amounted to over £285 billion (at 2009/10 prices)’ (http://www.reformscotland.com/public/publications/scotlandseconomicfuture.pdf . How much of this could be allotted to Scotland would vary with each year, however Prof Kemp estimates that in 2011 Scotland’s illustrative geographic share was around 94% (see GERS page 36: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/GERS/GERS2013pdf )
Oil and Gas UK estimate that between 15-24 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent could still be recovered from the UKCS as a whole. Analysis by the Scottish Government suggests that these reserves could have a potential wholesale value of up to £1.5 trillion. Wood McKenzie estimate that approximately 85% of remaining UK hydrocarbon reserves lie in Scottish waters. The share of estimated oil reserves is thought to be higher, with in excess of 90% of UK oil reserves believed to be located in Scotland’s geographical share of the UKCS: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Business/Energy/OilGas.