25 Nov 2015
The SNP government must apologise for deceiving voters prior to the independence referendum after the Office for Budget Responsibility revealed a further collapse of oil revenues today.
The independent OBR said that oil revenues this year are expected to amount to just £130million.
That compares to the Scottish Government’s pre-referendum white paper estimate of between £6.6 billion and £7.5 billion – on which the SNP based it claims about independence.
The SNP was warned at the time that its predictions were massively optimistic – but it refused to change them ahead of the referendum vote.
Last week, Alex Salmond’s policy chief Alex Bell acknowledged that the SNP’s case for independence was “broken”.
He also reported that officials had told SNP ministers prior to the referendum that a stable economy was “more possible within the Union than without”.
However, Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney have so far failed to acknowledge that their own plans for independence or full fiscal autonomy would now leave Scotland bankrupt.
Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Murdo Fraser said:
“These new oil figures only serve to demonstrate the shocking scale of the SNP’s deceit before the referendum.
“Time and time again we were told that oil would pay. Despite numerous warnings, the SNP’s white paper – overseen by Nicola Sturgeon – brushed all evidence aside in an attempt to deliberately hoodwink voters.
“Given these latest figures, Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney should show they are prepared to move on by apologising for what was a deliberate and conscious decision to deceive people.
“Everyone can now see that Scotland dodged a bullet last year.
“We now must focus on doing all we can to support exploration in the North Sea so that, if and when prices revive, it is well placed to capitalise.”