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Clydesdale MSP, Aileen Campbell has described the Scottish Government’s new paper outlining plans for Scotland’s oil and gas sector under independence, as ‘a clear indication’ that only a Yes vote at next year’s referendum can maximise the substantial gains on offer to Scotland.

The policy paper ‘Maximising the return from Oil & Gas in an independent Scotland’, was developed alongside industry experts and unveiled by the First Minister this week.

The paper outlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to provide long-term stability to the offshore sector, including to formally consult with the industry before any changes are made to the fiscal regime, and makes clear there are no plans to raise the sector’s overall tax burden under independence.

It also reaffirms the government’s commitment to establish an oil fund when the fiscal conditions allow, and mirror the hugely successful Norwegian oil fund, which is now worth ?450 billion and the largest Sovereign Wealth Fund in the world.

An expert commission chaired by former CBI Scotland chairman Melfort Campbell will be appointed next month to further examine how an independent Scotland would implement the key principles of the paper.

Commenting on the paper’s findings, Aileen Campbell said:

"It has long been know that Scotland has unrivalled natural resources. This paper is a clear indication that independence offers the country an unparalleled opportunity to use our oil and gas resources to bring long lasting benefits to the economy and our communities.

"This papers highlights the damage and uncertainty that has been caused to the industry by Westminster’s numerous tax changes and lack of long-term planning. We have had to watch successive UK Governments squander oil revenues rather than invest them.

"And once again the Treasury are trying to downplay the future role of oil and gas in their economic forecasts. This is the latest in a long line since the 1970s and is part of the No campaign’s ‘Project Fear’.

"Over half the value of oil and gas in the North Sea remains to be extracted. There are record levels of field investment, and companies’ future plans are worth around ?100 billion to the sector.

"The facts clearly show the oil and gas industry will continue to thrive for decades to come and only through independence can we maximise the long-term benefits it offers to the economy and prosperity of the people of Scotland."

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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