North Sea oil forecast hits Alex Salmond’s Scottish independence plan

Suzie Neuwirth
Alex Salmond dismissed the OBR's findings
The bid for Scottish independence took another hit yesterday, when the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) downgraded its forecast on North Sea oil and gas revenues by a quarter.

The economy watchdog said in its annual fiscal sustainability report that it now expected around £40bn would be raised between 2019-20 and 2040-41, due to declining production forecasts over the next few years.

“The broad and diverse UK tax base means we are able to support the oil and gas industry, for example through targeted tax reliefs for oil and gas fields that are technically or commercially challenging,” said a Treasury spokesperson. “A separate Scotland would be more reliant on income from the North Sea so is unlikely to be able to provide the same level of support.”

But Scottish first minister Alex Salmond dismissed the findings, telling BBC Scotland that they were “stuff and nonsense”.

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