By Rab Bruce’s Spider

A recent article on the Business for Scotland website highlighted the massive profits oil giants Shell and BP are expected to make in light of the increasing price of oil.

You can read this article at:

It’s interesting that few in the mainstream media are highlighting the ever-increasing price of oil. They were very quick to trumpet its fall a few years ago, but anything which might suggest Scotland could be a wealthy country is taboo for our journalists.

But to earn money from oil, you need to impose taxes on the oil companies, and as the BFS article shows, the UK is alone in allowing the oil companies to extract this valuable natural resource without paying tax. No doubt this lack of income will be reflected in this year’s GERS figures which will once again demonstrate just how impoverished Scotland is with Westminster controlling our finances.

Of course, we were warned by Sir Ian Wood in 2014 that oil was about to run out, so I suppose we should congratulate the oil companies for continuing to make enormous profits by extracting a resource which no longer exists. Or perhaps Sir Ian Wood was merely spouting a scare story to influence voters in the IndyRef? Who knows what might have motivated a Knight of the Realm to say something so palpably untrue.

Of course, we want to move away from oil and switch to renewable sources of energy, but that is a long term project and, for the moment, we are sadly reliant on oil. That being the case, the very least a responsible Government should be doing is extracting a share of the profits by imposing taxation. But then, we all know that the UK does not have a responsible Government. If Scotland was a normal, self-governing country, we could impose taxes on these oil giants and use that revenue stream to develop our renewables sector. The chances of the UK adopting that sort of strategy are, sadly, virtually nil. Once again, we have an example of how Scotland, far from benefitting from the Union, is actually being held back by it.