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by Tom Freeman
25 June 2015
Scottish Government oil tax projections plummet

Scottish Government oil tax projections plummet

Tax receipts from North Sea oil and gas could be between £2.4bn and £10.8bn, according to the Scottish Government’s oil and gas bulletin, published today. This represents a significant drop from last year’s projection which was between £15.8bn and £38.7bn.

The price of oil halved to $48 a barrel in the last half of 2014, but has since risen to around $60.

During the referendum campaign the SNP was accused over over-predicting how much an independent Scotland would get in oil revenue.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “There is no disputing that the industry has faced a very challenging year and we continue to work relentlessly to safeguard jobs and retain vital skills.”

Scottish Labour’s finance spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the SNP had tried to “sneak” the figures out on the last day of parliament.  “These new figures blow the SNP’s policy of full fiscal autonomy out of the water. We know cutting ourselves off from UK wide taxes would blow a £7.6 billion hole in Scotland’s finances,” she said.

Scottish Conservative enterprise spokesman Murdo Fraser said the figures showed Scotland had “dodged a bullet” by voting no. “Now it is confirmed. If Scotland was independent we’d now have a massive financial black hole to deal with. The SNP attempted to keep the public in the dark and mislead on oil prices. When will the Scottish people get an apology?”

Swinney accused the UK government of failing to support the industry. “It is not acceptable for the UK Government to sit back and accept low revenues. Both governments and the industry must continue to work together to improve efficiency, production and deliver better results for the North Sea.”

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