Oil fund prospect
There is more than a little irony that on the day that the IMF has downgraded the expected growth prospects for the UK this year from 0.2 per cent to -0.4 per cent, Norway’s oil fund has allowed it to boost spending on infrastructure in its draft budget.
The economic figures that show the UK economy is expected to shrink by 0.4 per cent stand in stark contrast to the most recent figures for Norway, an oil-rich nation with a smaller population than Scotland, where growth this year is expected to be a healthy 3.7 per cent.
This is thanks in part to its oil fund which enables investment in infrastructure.
Originally intended to last 30 years – as incidentally was North Sea oil – Norway’s oil fund is now expected to last for a century or more and was recently reported as owning 1 per cent of all equities across the globe.
It is a clear example of what a Scotland with full control of its oil and gas resources could aspire to.
And yet here we have a damning downgrade of our already paltry growth prospects by the IMF, an indictment of the stubborn inaction that is the hallmark of George Osborne’s Treasury, in the face of overwhelming evidence and expert opinion.
Even many of the economists who publicly backed his plans before the Tories took power have now openly called on him to invest in infrastructure, yet still George Osborne does nothing.
Instead of Scotland continuing to be dragged down by George Osborne, we need full control of our ample resources to ensure that the needs of the people of our nation are being fully addressed.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
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Wind direction: West