Scotland will be
in prime position to begin investment in an oil fund from the point of
Government will this week publish figures showing the relative strength of
Scotland's public finances over the past five years, update the forecast of
an independent Scotland’s public finances in 2016/17 extending these
projections forward, and set out the scale of the economic bonus that could be
achieved by using powers that are only available with independence.
The forecasts will
show that under any scenario an independent Scotland will start life with
strong public finances and that an independent Scottish government will have
the option of starting to invest in an oil fund from 2016.
Over the past five
years, when North Sea oil revenues are included, Scotland has on average
accounted for 9.5 per cent of UK tax receipts – higher than our 8.4 per
cent of the UK population.
On a per capita
basis annual tax receipts in Scotland have averaged £10,000 over the past
five years, £1,200 per person higher than the UK as a whole.
In cash terms Scotland’s relatively better fiscal position compared to
the UK is estimated to have been worth £1,600 per person better off over
the last 5 years.
estimated to have paid more in tax per person to the UK in each of the last 33
years than the UK as a whole.
The briefing will
set out this relative strength and will also update the forecast of
Scotland’s finances in 2016/17, comparing this with the position in the
UK, both under the current Westminster government’s spending plans and
those of the Westminster opposition. It will also set Scotland's public
finances in an international context.
The paper due to
be published on Wednesday 28th May will also set out the potential for the
Scottish economy with access to the full powers of independence and quantify
the independence bonus that will be available to Scotland if those powers are
used to grow our economy, improve productivity and achieve population
The First Minister
will also set out key steps to grow Scotland’s economy with independence
as part of the Scottish Government’s public cabinet discussion which
takes place in Rutherglen later this week.
Speaking ahead of
the publication, Finance Secretary John Swinney said:
one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more prosperous per head than the
UK, France and Japan, but we need the powers of independence to ensure that
wealth properly benefits everyone in our society.
we will publish figures showing the strength of Scotland’s public
finances at the point of independence and the huge economic opportunity that a
vote for independence will open up.
over Scotland’s future is now firmly between those who choose to talk
down Scotland’s potential and those of us who know that with the wealth
creating powers of independence we can take our natural resources and our human
talent and build an even stronger nation.
“There is no
doubt Scotland can be independent. Over the last five years our financial
position has been stronger than the rest of the UK by £1,600 per person
and we are one of the wealthiest countries in the OECD.
is no doubt that as part of the UK we have lost out on the very real benefits
that an independent country could have secured. Westminster’s decision to
deprive Scotland of an oil fund has cost us £17,000 -
pursue the policies that only an independent Scotland will be able to pursue
then we can deliver an oil fund from the point of independence and secure an
economic bonus that can only be delivered by independence.
Norwegian Oil Fund began in the mid-1990s with only modest payments and is now
the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, worth more than £500
billion – while Scotland’s oil fund stands at zero, as a result of
Westminster mismanagement of our resources.
decisions for ourselves we can give Scotland’s economy the boost that is
needed and that will never be delivered by Westminster.
independence we can use our new powers to grow productivity, to boost the
numbers of people in work and the population of working age –
particularly among women – to increase exports and to re-industrialise
the choice of independence can we secure the benefits of Scotland’s
wealth for the people of Scotland.”