By Martin Kelly
An independent Scotland would be no worse off than the rest of the UK even if it didn’t have oil and gas, according to the official pro-independence campaign.
Yes Scotland has today published a document that it says shows Scotland’s economic output would still be on a par with the UK as a whole, even without revenues from the North Sea - and that’s including London’s multi-billion pound financial sector.

However, when taking into account the massive reserves still to be extracted from Scotland’s waters, the Yes campaign Chief Blair Jenkins said an independent Scotland would be extremely wealthy.

"An independent Scotland would be one of the wealthiest nations in the developed world, with the means to make it one of the fairest too," said Mr Jenkins.

The Yes Scotland chief added: "It is extraordinary how often some people question whether Scotland could afford to be independent when the question should really be whether Scotland can afford not to be independent.

"The facts clearly show that even without taking into account oil and gas, our economic output would still be at nearly exactly the same level as the whole of the UK – and that’s taking into account London’s financial services industry."

In an effort at seizing the economic initiative, the Yes campaign listed areas it said demonstrated the diverse nature of Scotland’s economy.

According to Yes Scotland:

  • Scotland has a quarter of Europe’s potential offshore wind and tidal energy and 10% of Europe’s wave power potential.
  • As many as 24 billion barrels of oil remain under the North Sea, worth up to £1.5 trillion in today’s prices.
  • An independent Scotland would be the eighth wealthiest of the OECD’s advanced economies in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared with the UK in 17th position.
  • Scotland’s public finances are stronger than the UK’s - we have contributed more tax per head than the UK in each of the last 30 years.
  • Scotland tops the UK league table in attracting investment from abroad.
  • We have very successful food & drink, tourism, construction and agriculture sectors worth £39 billion a year.

Mr Jenkins accused opponents of independence of spreading "misinformation" which he described as "a deliberate attempt to scare people into voting no".

He added: "Scotland is punching well above its weight. The question we should be asking is not whether can afford to be independent but why aren't we doing better economically?

"Look at all the strengths we have in our economy - oil and gas, renewables, food and drink, tourism, engineering, life sciences, universities and much more. It all adds up to a prosperous nation. So why isn't your family better off?

"An independent Scotland would be the eighth wealthiest of the OECD's advanced economies in terms of GDP per head, compared with the UK in 17th position.

"Westminster isn't working for Scotland. We have wealth enough. What counts is what we choose to with that wealth. That's why Scotland's future should be in Scotland's hands."

In a mini-campaign launch today, the pro-independence alliance said that Westminster was damaging Scotland’s economy and creating an unfair society which was benefiting those at the top.  Thousands of Yes Scotland volunteers will be staging more than 100 events from Orkney to Dumfries and everywhere in between to promote the message that 'it all adds up' in an independent Scotland.

The launch of the campaign followed a poll which indicated the majority of people involved in the renewables industry would support independence.

Over 51% of industry delegates at The Scottish Highland Renewable Energy conference held in Inverness earlier this week agreed that independence would assist Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions, with a further 11.43% undecided and only 37% disagreeing.


# hiorta 2013-04-25 18:48
Successive Governments were intent on deceiving the Scots to keep this matter secret and spirit the fabulous wealth away for their own selfish purposes.
No evidence of a 'better together' approach then, was there.
Once a pick-pocket..........
Who would be silly enough to ever trust them again?
# ynot 2013-04-25 19:03
Over 51% of industry delegates .... agreed that independence would assist Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions, with a further 11.43% undecided and only 37% disagreeing.

Surprise the figures weren't much higher in support for independence. How on earth did those who disagreed think a UK government hell bent on a dash for gas and nuclear power would be other than a barrier to development of renewables. Do they not realise the lead Scotland has built up already in the renewables sector is due mainly to the commitment of the SG. Agreed the financial incentives are also important and have played their part but the SG will find it progressively more difficult to maintain this momentum as subsidies are redirected in future to pay the obscene ransom demanded by French companies to supply new nuclear capacity and also the billions for decommissioning of obsolete existing plant, and the grid connection charges are also a big turnoff to investors.
# clootie 2013-04-25 19:31
If this was not based on solid facts it would be torn apart by the unionist army of civil servants.

The hardened unionist must be getting very worried as time passes and fact overcomes fear. Unfortunately they are worried at the loss of a revenue source, personal reward and power and not about the future of the people

The subsidised Scots - what an insult
# Macart 2013-04-25 19:46
That's more like it from the YES campaign. More please.
# Davy 2013-04-25 20:39

We have the means to a fairer & more prosperous country, dancing to a tune of our own making. Lets not waste the opportinuity for the future generations of our country.

As we will be able to give them the most glorious future with a simple "YES" on the 18th Sep 2014. So lets work harder to convince the undecided that Scotlands future is forward with a YES not backwards with a NO.

Alba Gu Brath.
# Marian 2013-04-25 20:51
Haven't seen this shown on BBC or read it in MSM yet, so it must be true.

All the unionists have to counter independence are lies, scaremongering, bullying and intimidation and there should be no doubt that Scotland will be severely punished by the unionists if it votes NO.

[Admin - This story was very clearly published by the Herald newspaper prior to appearing on Newsnet Scotland. A cursory look at the Herald would have confirmed this.]
# Early Ball 2013-04-25 21:15

Can't help with the telly!
# chicmac 2013-04-26 00:20
Two biggies I've mentioned before but which rarely, if ever get mentioned in the MSM.

First the UK (i.e. England) massive food and drink trade deficit. This (without Scotland) would be between 25 -35 Billion pounds per year, more than North sea oil revenue.

This is disguised by the value added trick where for reasons of 'centralisation' raw produce is processed and packaged largely in the Midlands of England.

Scots basically export food at price X then get it back at 3-4 times X.

This situation would not be sustainable in an independent Scotland. We would set up our own packaging and distribution centres which would not only make more sense geographically for Scots but would mean Scottish Food surpluses being exported at the higher rate and the value added in wages etc. being retained here.
# clootie 2013-04-26 04:53

Great point on profit margin on raw product versus finished sale value. This is a great example of
A) How the true value of Scotland's wealth is hidden. Water is another example they try to hide. They have the neat trick of registering the HQ of companies in England in order that the profit of our products show up there.
B) We sell raw products low and are forced to pay more for the goods and higher delivery cost. Oil/petrol - energy (hydro-electric / renewable energy (transport tariff) / farm products / forestry products etc
# From The Suburbs 2013-04-26 07:49
Don't expect any coverage of positive news on independence on MSM or BBC yet massive coverage for Accountant's negative claims over pensions yet accountant's spokesperson could give any figures on GMS this morning.

Yesterday MPs criticised the UK tax authorities cosy links with the big accounting firms that help companies avoid tax. The public accounts committee report is a damning indictment of the Treasury and tax officials. Some £25.5bn remains uncollected from disputes with 2,700 companies using schemes promoted by accountants. Imagine how that would help the economy.
# WRH2 2013-04-26 08:54
Continuing with the O/T pensions story. Who allowed them to be underfunded? Westminster? What is the point of bringing this up now when ICAS has clearly known about it for some time? Should they not have been lobbying Westminster to address this problem anyway as it affects pensions already? Another big reason along with dodgy donations to get out of this union. VOTE YES in 2014
# Viking Girl 2013-04-26 14:41
This is more like the truth and contradicts all the recent negative stories. Today's nonsense about Pensions is yet another example of the pro-Unionists' desperate attempts to frighten folk into voting no. I get the impression they are all in secret talks about how to implement the Doom Laden Naysayers Handbook.
# velofello 2013-04-27 14:55
@ ChicMac: You mean the old colonial trick? Purchase bulk tea and raw sugar from India, Ceylon Sri Lanka etc. at advantageous prices - pay enough to enable them to purchase our steam locomotives etc. Process the raw product in the UK then sell the processed goods back to them.
Scotland is the UK's last frontier I suppose.
Is anyone maintaining a running total of the scare stories being compiled by Westminster civil servants on instruction from Cameron and his knights? it's like watching a game of ten pin bowling seeing the scare stories being knocked down as nonsense

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