Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Scottish independence: Alex Salmond’s case for independence undermined by his own figures, Scotland has a deficit caused by oil revenues falling, you can’t base an indy bid on whether one oil field is able to operate, sheer utter madness economically

Dear All

Do you remember the SNP ran with a slogan that ‘It’s Scotland’s Oil’?

Well that campaign idea died a quick death at the ballot box.

The Scottish National Party specialise in local politics, the big politics such as done at Westminster is to their taste.

The public en masse reject pretty much every candidate at election time, out of the entire number of Scottish MPs the SNP manage to get only 6!

There are 6 SNP MPs there at present and in the last election, the same 6 managed to hold their seats.

Now, as everyone climbs aboard for a no vote, the latest bad, really bad news is that there are plummeting oil revenues which have contributed to a reversal in Scotland's economic fortunes relative to the UK.

What does that mean?

Well, the claim of living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world has taken a rather large knock.

Oil revenues dropped by more than two-fifths in 2012/13!

That is a huge drop of 40%.

You can’t gamble an economy on just Oil wealth coming in through taxation; it is foolhardy bordering on incompetent.

Some time ago I said, the second term of this parliament should be Government and local Government reform that never happened and it should have. Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon rushed into independence unprepared and out of their depth, woefully out of their depth.

Now, Scotland's deficit is above the UK's for the first time in recent years, according to Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (Gers) figures.

And the SNP still don’t have a Plan B.

How would you feel if society was effectively turned on its head because of an unplanned stoppage in the Elgin oil field?

The entire country would be held to ransom by an oil company!

The Elgin shutdown was a "one-off event", according to Scotland’s ‘jolly fat man’ Alex Salmond, who said he does not expect unplanned stoppages every year.

He can see into the future?

If that was the case, can he explain why he has made so many disastrous mistakes?

The SNP moved unpopular Nicola Sturgeon into Alex Neil’s old job, so there was a shift in Scottish Government spending towards capital investment.

This was to try and buy the vote and make unlikeable Ms. Sturgeon popular.

Not enough money to achieve that project or learning outcome.

Money went to projects such as building schools and roads, and investments in national water board Scottish Water.

Scotland's deficit is -5.9%.

Have you noticed cuts to council budgets?

How does a supposed wealthy country like Scotland which the SNP claim is rich have to any suffer cuts?

Alex Salmond's opponents’ say today's publication of bad news is a "landmark" moment in the independence campaign.

Last year's deficit would have made Scots £500 per person poorer rising to £1,000 by 2016/17.

Trying to put a spin on the 40% drop, Salmond said:

"North Sea revenue fell by 41% between 2011/12 and 2012/13. This, in part, was caused by unplanned disruption to production and above average levels of spending on development.
"Capital investment by the oil and gas industry reached a record £14 billion last year, and of course that reduces receipts in the short-term because of capital allowances which will substantially increase tax returns for the future. The key stoppage for this year was the Elgin-Franklin field where the pipeline for the Elgin field came down, which affected the whole transmission system of a number of other gas fields. It had a significant effect on the overall production and therefore revenue. Elgin-Franklin is now back in production, so it's a one-off event which affected the 12/13 figures. I would argue that if you can have a decline in oil revenue of over 40% in single year but still have a current balance which is identical to the UK; that indicates the underlying strength of the Scottish economy. In the last five years, Scotland would have been relatively better off by £8 billion, or almost £1,600 per head. People can point at other things and the electorate will judge whether there is consistency in looking over the five-year period."

This is the same mentality that sunk the Titanic; ‘everyone is alright no need to worry’, while the ship is sinking!

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

"Today the Scottish Government's argument for independence has been undermined by their own figures”.

Alexander added:

"It shows that in 2012-13, the Scottish deficit per person was almost £500 worse than that of the UK. By 2016-17 this gap is forecast to have widened to around £1,000 per person. "

Alistair Darling, leader of the Better Together campaign, said:

"This is a landmark moment in the debate. This is the day that Alex Salmond's own figures made the case against independence”.

Every day is a landmark; the Scottish National Party has lost the plot because they are run by a nasty, vile, vicious clique at their core, fronted by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

Darling added:

"If Scotland was independent today we would have no option but to cut spending on services like schools and hospitals or put up taxes - or probably both. Today as part of the UK we don't have to do that."

Iain Gray, Labour Party's Scottish finance spokesman, added:

"These figures are an embarrassment for Alex Salmond and John Swinney and completely discredit the SNP's fiscal case for independence. Their White Paper has cost taxpayers £1.3 million but the economic predictions it contains are out by billions of pounds."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

"If this was the first day of independence, Scotland's chancellor of the exchequer would be announcing an emergency budget to increase taxes or cut spending on schools, hospitals and universities. But because we share across the United Kingdom through good times and bad, those decisions are not necessary. This shows the value of not being dependent on one uncertain, volatile and finite resource."

It seems that many Nationalists have been sold a ‘pig in a poke’ by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, much longer can this dreadful campaign with no substance continue before people in the SNP realise that they are being used not for independence but to shore up the current SNP leadership who have betrayed them.

The Scottish independence campaign is dead, much of the credit goes to Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon who at every stage undermined their own case by gross stupidity that beggars belief.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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