Wednesday, 23 May 2018 16:56



A new round exploration licences offered by the Oil and Gas Authority shows that North Sea industry is in revival – and underlines the case for Scotland having the power to steward our natural resources. 

Last month, the IPPR suggested that successive UK governments had squandered up to £500 billion of oil and gas revenues by not investing in a sovereign wealth fund in the way Norway did. Instead, successive UK governments used the money to fund tax breaks for the wealthiest – while Norway’s investment has created the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, now worth over $1 trillion and still growing.

The oil and gas sector has also warned about the impact of Brexit on the industry – with Tory hard Brexit plans set to cost the sector up to £500 million a year. The SNP has consistently argued for full powers over the oil and gas sector to come to Holyrood so that Scotland can properly steward our immense natural resources.

Commenting, Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin who sits on Holyrood’s Economy Committee said: 
“It’s no great secret that oil and gas revenues have been mismanaged by successive incompetent UK governments over decades – treating Scotland’s oil industry as a cash cow through the good years, but barely lifting a finger to help during the recent downturn.
“Just last month, the IPPR pointed out that the UK government had squandered £500 billion of oil and gas revenues.

“With a steady oil price, the oil and gas sector is once again set on an upward trajectory. Scotland is a wealthy country even without oil and gas,  but the revenues from such a valuable national resource cannot be put towards covering the cost of Tory tax cuts for the very richest in our society – they should be invested wisely for future generations.

“The best way to ensure that happens it to take these powers out of the hands of Westminster altogether – devolve them to Holyrood and let us properly steward, rather than squander, Scotland’s natural resources.”

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