Mark Carney’s message is clear: families and businesses across the whole of the UK will benefit from the fall in oil price, but the oil industry in Scotland will pay the price (Cover today). Furthermore, Scotland’s deficit, which was already greater than that of the rest of the UK, is set to worsen considerably as oil revenues fall. Jim Murphy has outlined how taxation collected elsewhere in the UK can be used to offset this – resources will be pooled and used in the UK where needed most.
We know that the current Scottish Government is ideologically opposed to this concept, and would prefer that Scotland could manage this situation alone as an independent state or under a Home Rule setup within the UK. To those on the left within Scotland’s nationalist movement there surely must be real concerns about the impact that this would have on education, the NHS and welfare. I am sure that they, like me, would be very interested in seeing detailed proposals from the Scottish Government prior to the forthcoming general election if Home Rule is their goal.