OIL at a SNiP ?
Alex Orr a SNP activist (see No 10 here
) and I think no relation to our indefatigable Mrs O writes to the Berwickshire as follows:SIR, - I was bemused to note that Norway has just announced that it is going to dip into its $332 billion sovereign wealth fund (£222bn) to finance a new fiscal spending package.
The oil-rich Norwegians will use the fund, the world’s second largest after Abu Dhabi, to offset a rapid slowdown in economic growth next year. And it aims to use these funds to stimulate target sectors expected to experience the sharpest slowdown, such as the construction sector, and invest in public buildings, schools and infrastructure. Oslo is in fact heralded as one of the best places in the world to spend its way out of the downturn, using its vast oil wealth.
Meanwhile in the UK, which has been running a structural budget deficit for years, the UK Government announced last week that is going to borrow £10,000 for every man, woman and child in the UK. There is something indeed more than a little ironic that at a time when record Scottish oil revenues are flowing to the London Exchequer - £55 billion over the coming six years compared to £41 billion during the previous six – Scotland is bailing out the rest of the UK and being saddled with levels of debts that will cripple this and future generations.
Jim Murphy’s infamous ‘Arc of Insolvency’ remark has badly backfired, and while oil-rich Norway can tap into this wealth, oil-rich Scotland is not only bailing out the rest of the UK, but facing a £1 billion upfront budget cut courtesy of the UK Government.
Sadly one slight flaw in his argument. Its not Scottish Oil but British Oil. Kingdom of Norway United Kingdom of GB and NI as it says on the tin, if not on the barrel. AS in British Army, not Scottish Army. And likely to remain so whilst a majority of the citizens of Scotland retain some common sense.
But says Mr O, don't be obtuse. I am talking about what should be: a fabulously wealthy independent Scotland keeping its huge oil revenues for itself. Those in the SNP who think like Mr O must have been positively salivating with excitement (and resentment) when last July oil was at $146 a barrel. But look now it is $34 on a good day. And if Mr Salmond's team of in house economists are dreaming of an Independent Alba financed by oil-fluctuating in price and starting to run out at an alarming speed the perhaps the drawing board beckons. Why not let things as they are; you really are in a win win situation. If the nice Mr Brown wins the election you will still have a Glaswegian at the helm-if it is the brash Tory leader who polls the votes...
Isn't Cameron a good Scottish name? A white Scot perhaps.
But a Scot.
(The image is murky-like the future of North Sea Oil?)
And oh yes, A Happy and as prosperous-as-can-be-reasonably-expected- New Year to all bloggees. And if you don't quite last the course I hope the proverb from the Ould Sod resonates with you :May You be in Heaven before the Divil knows you're dead
Labels: Scottish Oil, SNP