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 Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/33657 for Twitter and emails.

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.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

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




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evans 24th Apr - 3:59am
    Austin, It is very loyal of you to take the bullet for others, but you do not explain how several key questions, vital in assessing...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 24th Apr - 3:58am
    Austin, It is very loyal of you to take the bullet for others, but you do not explain how several key questions, vital in assessing...
  • User Avatarmalc 24th Apr - 1:18am
    Mathew Hunchbach " It is not possible to support some item of government expenditure without also supporting some balancing way of paying for it." I...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 24th Apr - 12:46am
    @Matthew Huntbach: "The idea that a junior coalition partner very much smaller than the senior one can dominate the agenda of the coalition is nonsense,...
  • User AvatarCarlQ 24th Apr - 12:04am
    I think some people may have missed the point where Austin said he was happy for feedback. Repeating the same points again in a slightly...
  • User AvatarPsi 23rd Apr - 11:54pm
    Jayne Mansfield “One of the arguments most often put forward by people who I overhear saying they intend to vote UKIP is the anger that...