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  By Martin Kelly
 
A new report by Ernst and Young has revealed that the oil and gas industry contributes over £35bn to the UK economy.  The study, commissioned by Oil and Gas UK, found that from 2008 to 2012, the number of people employed in the sector grew by over 21,000 jobs.

The number of people employed in the sector increased by 21,187 to some 127,102 between 2008 and 2012.  The study also revealed average salaries increased from £42,000 in 2008 to £47,000 in 2012. 

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  By Anne-Marie O'Donnell
 
There is a "growing consensus" in UK politics that has allowed those battling poverty to be stigmatised as "skivers" and "scroungers", an expert has warned.
 
In a submission to the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Morag Gillespie of the Scottish Poverty Information Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University said the emerging trend within UK politics was along "neo-liberal lines" but added that Scotland is in a position to set itself apart from the wider narrative.

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  By Martin Kelly

Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown has re-entered the independence debate with a warning that pensions in an independent Scotland would cost three times the amount of revenue generated by oil.

The former Labour leader will make the claim in a speech later today to be given on Behelf of the Better Together campaign.

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  By Stefan Bienkowski
 
Scotland's economic recovery is well and truly underway with businesses reporting higher levels of confidence and optimism in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period twelve months ago.
 
In its quarterly business survey published today, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce(SCC) stated that all sectors had reported back with higher levels of confidence in Q1 of 2014, whilst construction, wholesale, retail and tourism saw continued growth.

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  Employment levels in Scotland are at their highest since records began with 2,575,000 people over 16 now employed, according to labour market figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
 
The employment level is now 13,000 above its pre-recession peak of 2,562,000 in 2008.  According to the latest statistics, 2.575m people over 16 – 13,000 more than the previous record pre-recession - are now in employment.

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  By Martin Kelly

An academic think tank has today claimed that the pound is not an asset that can be 'shared' following a Yes vote, but has said that a newly independent Scotland free from UK debt will benefit to the tune of billions of pounds. 

In its latest report on the financial status of an independent Scotland, the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR) has claimed that the Scottish Government's argument that sterling is an asset jointly owned by Scotland, is "flawed" and that the value of the currency is purely symbolic.

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  By Sean Martin
 
The world must move away from carbon-intensive fuels and aggressively cut greenhouse gas emissions if it is to avert the more serious consequences of climate change, a United Nations report has warned.
 
Revealing a contradiction between Conservative party policy – in particular its plan to cease further construction of onshore wind farms – and leading scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report said there should be a conscious move towards renewables rather than away from them.

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