In an extensive article, published this morning, Professor Mackay analyses the substantial benefits of Scotland controlling its own resources, especially offshore revenue.
He builds on previously criticism that the UK Government is ignoring “a mountain of black gold” in this sector, revenue that would of course go to an independent Scotland. Reports at Investors Chronicle suggested that the Westminster politicians were doing so to undermine the case for independence.
Alongside Professor Mackay’s financial analysis, he confirmed on BBC Radio Scotland this morning that Scotland would be in a stronger financial position than the UK going forward. This is a highly significant intervention from a figure with considerable experience in enterprise and economic research.
Professor Mackay’s intervention
Key extracts from Professor Mackay’s intervention today include:
1) “I begin with the macroeconomic framework which an independent Scottish Government would face and suggest that its fiscal position from 2016 would be very much strengthened by the likely future path of North Sea output and tax revenues.”
2) “The Treasury’s basic premise, that an independent Scotland in 2016 would inherit a chronically weak fiscal position, is unsustainable. It would be easier for Scotland to live within the fiscal rules, because the likely future direct and indirect impacts of North Sea oil and gas would be much greater than the Treasury suggests.”
3) “The OBR is also hopelessly at sea when it comes to forecasting the price of oil.”
4) “On this basis a well prepared Scottish government would be able to implement the main supply side reforms contained in your white paper and fund that process within the fiscal limits which would be imposed by symmetric fiscal rules. As for Project Fear, I am sure you will make good use of the words of the American president who said, in the depths of the deepest recession ever faced by his people, that `the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’.”