Thursday, 10 July 2008
Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson and SNP Westminster candidate Eilidh Whiteford have criticised the bizarre claim of Scotland Office Minister David Cairns, made during Scottish Questions at Westminster, that an extra £6 billion pounds of taxation pouring into the UK treasury from Scotland's oil industry does not represent a windfall.
With the revelation by Oil and Gas UK that the industry's tax contributions have reached £21 billion thanks to higher oil prices, there has never been a better time to establish a Norwegian style oil-fund for Scotland, to ensure that future generations benefit from Scotland's resources
Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:
"In anybody's book, an unexpected £6 billion of money raised can only be called a windfall. For David Cairns to attempt to claim otherwise is simply beyond comprehension.
"What is clear is that Scotland's black gold is pouring into the black hole at the heart of the treasury, never to be seen again. With the news that perhaps as much as 25 billion barrels of oil remain in the North Sea, there is still time for us to follow Norway's example and establish an oil fund that will see us benefit from this natural resource in perpetuity."
SNP Westminster candidate Eilidh Whiteford added:
"At the very least, under the current constitutional arrangements, the UK treasury should return a pro-rata share of this windfall to Scotland. Why should the extra billions being taken in by the treasury be used to make up the shortfall in the rest of the UK's taxes when none of this extra money benefits Scotland?
"The refusal of the Scotland Office and the Treasury to even discuss the issue merely serves to underline the contempt in which Scotland is held in Whitehall."