John Swinney to update oil production figures

Finance secretary John Swinney has promised to update figures on oil revenues after claims they were “inflated” to support the case for independence.

Finance Secretary John Swinney. Picture: JP

Mr Swinney made the commitment during a Conservative-led debate on the Scottish Government’s financial projections for the country after a Yes vote in the referendum.

“The government intends to publish its third oil and gas analytical bulletin, which will set out the impact recent developments have on the outlook for future production and revenues as a consequence,” Mr Swinney told MSPs.

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It will build on information in the Scottish Government’s white paper on independence, and will look at forecasts beyond 2016-17, he said.

Finance Secretary John Swinney. Picture: JP

Mr Swinney was responding to Tory finance spokesman Gavin Brown, who accused the SNP administration of using “highly questionable” figures to back up its case for independence.

Mr Brown said: “More and more analysts are challenging the assumptions made by the Scottish Government in its white paper and in a number of other papers it has produced.”

He also criticised the Scottish Government claims that the deficit could be 3.2 per cent. nalysts, including Citigroup and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, place it at more than 5 per cent, he told parliament.

The Conservatives also point to Scottish Government figures which put oil revenue as high as £7.9 billion in 2016. It compares with an estimate of about £3.2bn from the Office for Budget Responsibility.