Be clear on oil

Our First Minister was certainly not alone in getting the future oil revenues’ estimates very wrong (your report, 20 March). But who could have guessed how fast North American shale and tar sands production would grow? Who realised that Opec members would not slash output to keep prices up?

However, that oil revenues were and are a key component of a separate Scotland’s income is very well documented: in 2011-12 the balance sheet clearly showed a fiscal deficit of £6 billion with oil revenues at £10bn, so annually accumulating debt was our fate whatever.

This is still being glossed over – we need Holyrood to come up right now with its latest forecasts for oil revenues as voters tool up for the UK general election, so that our future UK-covered debts are taken into account.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Further, it’s a cop-out to say “the projected decline in oil revenues is dwarfed by the projected onshore non-oil revenues” for the next few years. Talk about crystal balls!

This is insultingly inadequate and voters should press their candidates to say what on earth this means. Give us the projected data.



Dingwall, Ross-shire