UK oil revenues

Sam McComb (Letters, 8 July) asks the question about how the rest of the UK would cope with “permanently reduced oil and gas revenues”.

Perhaps he doesn’t appreciate that the average revenues from oil and gas over the past five years have represented a massive 20 per cent of onshore tax revenues for Scotland and a mere 1.7 per cent for the UK (Select Committee report).

Since these figures were published, the revenues have dropped from an average of £9.4 billion to only £5.6bn (2012-13) and, with the cessation of the Barnett formula (£7bn) in an independent Scotland, the UK would make a net saving of £1.4bn.

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With regard to future supplies of energy, the rest of the UK is preparing for shale gas and oil, initially from the US through Grangemouth, and then from its own vast reserves in England.

Meanwhile, Scotland marches on with declining oil revenues and inefficient and heavily subsidised wind farms – mainly funded by England, which would also cease.

The real question Mr McComb should be asking is what tax increases would there be, and what cuts in public services would have to be taken, to reduce our current unsustainable fiscal deficit of 8.3 per cent of GDP – with our share of oil – if we were misguided enough to vote for the Yes side.

Ian Lakin

Murtle Den Road