In what must be a slow news day for the Nats, unpopular Nicola Sturgeon’s Government has backed calls for the UK’s key oil and gas industry figures to be moved to Aberdeen.
The SNP say that they want a package of “substantive action” to tackle the crisis facing the industry.
Is there a crisis?
How can there be a crisis, when Scotland’s ‘jolly fat man’ Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon said that there was going to be a second oil boom.
There is no second oil boom and the price of oil has crashed, not very clever are they!
At present in the North Sea, there is a down turn, businesses will let people go; that is the nature of business, it isn’t run as a charity or at the behest of propping up a failing SNP Government.
Some people think thousands of jobs could be lost as the global oil price now stands at about $60 a barrel.
The report calling for action is backed by John Swinney, but what we should remember is that the ‘think tank’ called N56 is founded by pro-independence businessman Dan Macdonald.
In effect it is like someone the SNP know writes a report backing them and then the SNP back the report as having some kind of gravitas.
You could do the exact same thing and set up a think tank but it doesn’t mean the reports have any value whatsoever.
In a bit of scaremongering it warns Scotland’s employment outlook has plunged to a two-year low because of global oil price.
Can a package of measures push the oil price back up globally?
Deputy First Minister John Swinney says action needed to address the issues in the North Sea and demand “urgent” action from the UK government at Westminster. Previously Sturgeon was banging on about 300 jobs losses in the North Sea, she set up a task force, who managed to write a letter…. To ask the UK Government for help!
Some task force.
SNP Ministers backing a pro-independence group sending a letter to George Osborne from the N-56 business think-tank.
Apparently, they have come up with a “five-point plan” for the industry.
As to the call for the UK’s Treasury and Department of Energy and Climate Change to establish bases in the Granite City that won’t happen and it is rather silly to think it would ever happen.
Does having oil industry policy-makers living in Aberdeen make for better policy decisions, they answer is no because they work to a UK Westminster strategy not Holyrood.
SNP minister Fergus Ewing has welcomed the proposal as if anyone cares.
“Right now we are not competitive because both costs and tax are too high.”
The global price has crashed numbnuts a few quid off a barrel in taxation isn’t going to change the situation.
Ewing added Scottish ministers would use “every lever at our disposal” to secure the North Sea future for oil.
They don’t have any levers.
“We have called on the UK government repeatedly to commit to urgent fiscal changes to support investment, encourage exploration and ensure that the North Sea is a competitive investment location. After years of using the North Sea as a cash cow, the UK government must finally and urgently take substantive action”.
N-56 report’s five-point plan includes short-term tax breaks, a hydrocarbon investment bank, a Norwegian-style long-term approach and more support for offshore fracking – as well as the Granite City base for the key players.
On short tax breaks, the answer is no, budgets need to fixed in advance, so that idea is dross.
Hydrocarbon investment bank, who runs it and where, seems rather policy lite to me!
Norwegian-style long-term approach, we aren’t Norway and we don’t have their structures.
More support for offshore fracking, well, calling for other people to do the work isn’t exactly brainstorm but it is pure SNP.
Finally, Granite City base for the key players, if you stay in London and work in the UK’s Treasury and Department of Energy and Climate Change, the first thing which would come to mind is to tell pro-independence N56 to piss off.
The N56 report backing the SNP is destined for the bin, hopefully they published on recyclable paper.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University