David Cameron is peddling bullshit of the premium Aberdeen Angus kind today. At today’s oil prices, recoverable North Sea oil is worth a minimum of 1.2 trillion and a maximum of 2.4 trillion dollars. Cameron is claiming that potential will not be released without government subsidy of 24 billion dollars, and that only the UK government’s “broad shoulders” can raise this.
It is nauseous to dive into such bulllshit to analyse it. To knock a few noughts off, Cameron is saying that it is impossible to raise £10 investment if you have a guaranteed return of £5,000 and possibly £10,000. Salmond’s counter that Norway manages these things is perfectly valid.
Am I the only one who wonders why the taxpayer, under Cameron’s plan, the taxpayer – ie you and me – should fund $20 billion to decommission oil platforms when the oil companies made, at today’s values, over $400 billion in straight profit from those platforms? That payment to the oil companies constitutes 83% of the money from the UK which Cameron claims an independent Scotland would miss out on. The money would not actually go to Scotland at all – it would go to British Gas, BP, Shell, Exxon and other such needy people, to compensate them for polluting us (sic!).
Finally, the taxation revenue to Scotland from the oil and gas after independence will be a minimum of $240 billion and a maximum of $500 billion more to the Scottish taxpayer if Scotland were independent, than the share Scotland will get within the UK. Purely in terms of government revenue, Scotland will still be at least US 216 billion better off in taxes even if it pays the precious 24 billion Cameron is harping on about today.
Finally, the Cabinet is in Aberdeen and discussing vital revenue and investment questions, but where are they hiding George Osborne? Have they hidden him behind a curtain with a bucket on his head? Come on, we want George! Bring out your Family Trust Fund Public Schoolboys!!