Willie Rennie on Newsnight Scotland: You have to be cautious when you predict oil revenues

There’s been a bit of a stooshie over future North Sea oil revenues in the last week or so. First, as the BBC tells us, a leaked draft of a Scottish Government report said that volatility in projecting revenues created uncertainty and could lead to spending cuts. Now, Alex Salmond tells us that it’ll all be fine and there’ll be a great big oil boom just as Scotland becomes independent. The SNP projections for the first year of independence are pretty much double what the OBR predicts.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie went on Newsnight Scotland on Monday night to talk about how the SNP were all at sea over this. He said:

What is quite remarkable is that last week John Swinney says there was a high degree of uncertainty because of the volatility of the price of oil. Now Alex Salmond says there’s little doubt there was going to be an oil boom.

How can you go from uncertainty to little doubt in the space of a week? Oil revenues are uncertain and unpredictable and that’s why it’s right to be cautious.

The oil revenues we receive pay for hospitals, schools, universities. If you took the lowest and highest figures in recent years, there’s a difference of £11 billion. That’s the entire health budget in Scotland.

If you look at Norway, often cited by the SNP as a great example to follow, they take a very cautious approach to this.

You can watch his whole interview here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

2 Comments

  • This debate of course links to the concept of a ‘natural Resources trap’. As Summarised in the EI Sourcebook (on Good-fit practice activities in the international oil, gas and mining industries) it is

    the paradox that exists in natural resource rich economies. It is well documented that the discovery of natural resources significantly reduces growth

    http://www.eisourcebook.org/561_CollierTheNaturalResourceTrap.html

  • Robin Bennett 14th Mar '13 - 12:22pm

    Willie ‘s responses on issues relevant to the referendum are becoming too two-dimensional. He could, while advancing the case for caution, have acknowledged that other forecasts are more optimistic than the OBR (as indicated by Professor Kemp, whose interview followed), and that, in the end, voters will be entitled to take a view.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Most Read

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 11th Dec - 11:59am
    The Andrew Marr Show on 11/12/16 is worth a look. We wish him a speedy recovery. He was replaced for one week by Nick Robinson...
  • User AvatarPeter Andrews 11th Dec - 11:54am
    Oh and by the way I speak as someone who is due to go to court as a victim of a burglary where two burglars...
  • User AvatarGraham Evans 11th Dec - 11:53am
    One of the potential political hazards of economic decline as a result of Brexit is that instead of blaming the Brexiteers and the Tory government,...
  • User AvatarPeter Andrews 11th Dec - 11:50am
    I actually totally agree that ex-prisoners should not have to disclose their convictions on all job applications. Making them do so is a sure fire...
  • User AvatarLeekliberal 11th Dec - 11:46am
    As one of the 48%, another benefit of a 2nd referendum when the terms of any brexit deal are clear, is that if we vote...
  • User AvatarDJ 11th Dec - 11:41am
    Whatever the horrors and limitations of Cuba under Fidel Castro, I do not think they are best represented by a boxer having to stay amateur....