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Angus Tulloch speak ups for Scottish independence
BlackRock noted that oil and gas revenues would be critical to Scotland’s finances, but warned any future independent Scottish government against basing its spending plans on oil revenue projections. It said given the difficulty in predicting the money raised from oil and gas, to do so would be ‘uncertain and unwise.’
Indeed, in the Budget last week, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) over the next five years by £8 billion. Since 2010, the OBR has downgraded North Sea oil field tax revenues by £21 billion for the five years to 2015-16, prompting chancellor George Osborne to say this shows ‘how precarious an independent Scotland would be'.
BlackRock did, however, play down concerns about the financial services sector in Scotland. Although Standard Life last month warned that if Scotland were to become independent, BlackRock said a ‘wholesale exodus of staff and operations [from banks and insurers] would be unlikely, given Scotland’s cost advantage over London and other locations’. It also added that fears that an independent Scotland would be anti-business ‘are unfounded’.
The Scottish referendum on independence is to be held on 18 September.
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