The SNP emphasises how oil tax revenues will prop up an independent Scotland.
However, HMRC’s reported figure for tax receipts from UK oil and gas production in 2013-14 is £4.67 billion, 24 per cent less than 2012-13 and 57 per cent down from 2011-12.
Further to this alarming trend, the SNP is quiet about an independent Scotland’s additional share of oil costs.
It will also have to provide ever-increasing tax reliefs, thereby reducing oil income further, to encourage exploration of the reducing reserves.
A Scottish Oil Taxation Office will be required – as well as various departments to monitor all aspects of the industry.
Finally, oil licences are legally binding between individual companies and the UK government – who will bear the cost of the legal complexities to transfer the agreed licences to an independent Scotland?
P A Macnab
Rue des Atrebates