Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has warned that the SNP’s plans for full fiscal autonomy would pose a double whammy for Scotland’s jobs and growth.
Today (Wednesday 11th March) the Scottish Government will publish its Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland report, which shows Scotland’s balance sheet.
Last year’s figures showed that UK offshore oil revenues halved from £11.3bn in 2011-12 to £6.6bn in 2012-13. This year’s figures will come after a volatile year for the global oil industry, with prices per barrel falling to as low as $50USD a barrel.
Mr Rennie said that the oil industry, local economies and Scotland’s economy has benefitted from Liberal Democrat economic policies which have delivered lower taxes, higher pensions, new jobs and better healthcare.
Speaking ahead of the GERS figures, Mr Rennie said:
“The SNP’s plans for full fiscal autonomy would pose a double whammy for Scotland’s jobs and growth. It would mean that we don't have the breadth of the UK economy to give us the flexibility needed to support the oil industry through tax allowances and other incentives. It would mean we would face tough decisions over how to support public spending in order to plug the deficit.
“Today we need straight answers from the SNP on how their economic assertions align with real economic facts.
“The oil industry, local economies from the North East up to Shetland and Scotland’s economy as a whole has benefited from Liberal Democrat economic policies pursued as part of the UK government. Taxes are down, pensions are up, there are new jobs and better healthcare. I don’t want to put that at risk.”