By Lynda Williamson

George Osborne will visit Aberdeen today ostensibly to pay tribute to the “brave” men and women who work in the oil industry and to give his condolences to the families of the victims of the recent North Sea helicopter crash off Shetland.

The Chancellor is also expected take the opportunity to reveal a treasury report which estimates that staying within the UK single market could boost Scotland’s economy by as much as £5 billion over the next 30 years (approximately £66 per household per year).

In his speech to oil industry executives he will argue that political borders have a detrimental effect on trade and migration, even when trade agreements and structures are in place and no physical border exists. Mr Osborne will cite the relationships between Canada and the USA, and Germany and Austria as proof of what he calls the “border effect”.

The report will also claim that Scottish independence would create “significant headwinds” to economic growth resulting in an 80% decrease in exports from Scotland to the UK.

Commenting on the report deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon accused Mr Osborne of making “false promises” to voters in Scotland saying:

“Westminster’s economic policies have seen key industries close down, communities abandoned and generations of Scots let down whilst making the UK the fourth most unequal country in the developed world.

“The Tories are trying to take the people of Scotland for fools if they think families facing real hardship will buy fantasy promises from George Osborne.

“As an independent country, in a single market not just with the rest of UK but with the European Union – a position threatened by Westminster- we will finally be able to make our own decisions, to support our key industries, our workforce and to counteract the economic imbalance caused by London based economic policy.”

Ms Sturgeon also suggested that Mr Osborne was not the best person to make the case against independence for Scotland as the Chancellor is “deeply unpopular” here.

Supporters of the Yes campaign have questioned the value of a report that seeks to forecast economic conditions so far in advance, pointing out that the Treasury’s record of accuracy in such predictions is not impressive. The anti-independence movement has been accused of diversionary tactics designed to distract from the fundamental question of where best to make political decisions for Scotland.

The report is the latest in a series of studies carried out by civil servants at Whitehall which are designed to refute the case for independence.


2013-09-02 23:34

It must be true if George says so!

A man you can trust to look after the people of Scotland. This is an example of what Labour want to work with. They have agreed to keep all his policies have they not?
2013-09-03 00:19

I wonder who manufactures crystal balls these days because it could be a lucrative sector to get into. Westminster seems to use a lot although they’re not functioning too well. 4% return in 30 years! Good grief Westminster MPs are wanting a 32% pay rise in one year.
Regarding trade, what percentage of Scottish “exports” to England are actually consumed there and how much is being re-exported through English ports? The predicted 80% reduction could be due to Scotland re-establishing its own ports and exporting direct. That would have a detrimental effect on English ports and might be what concerns them more than how we would fair after independence.
2013-09-03 04:07

Quoting the report, Simon Johnson in the Torygraph writes: ” Scotland exported £36 billion of goods and services to the rest of the UK in 2011, and imported £49 billion worth, according to the document”.


Well, I’m sure there will be any number of nations who will be eager to replace England to run a huge trade surplus with Scotland (let’s not encourage this post indy UK or “rUK” nonsense – after the dissolution of the Union which created that political and legal entity, there will be no UK “r” or otherwise) .

Is Westminster really going to create barriers or allow them to grow organically, and jeopardize that enormousness annual windfall that will accrue to the English state?

Were England deliberately or negligently to allow barriers to trade to develop, it surely would be doing Scotland a favour, not an injury. There are any number of other nations who would offer better deals than this unequal arrangement.
2013-09-03 04:22

And what of the real risk of losing 86% of a giant single market comprising 460 million souls should we stay united with an England that votes for separation from the European Union?

Is the compensation of a single market of 55 million really worth the opportunity cost, long term?

Surely avoiding the risk of that loss is reason enough all on its own, for voting YES to an independent Scotland within the EU?
2013-09-03 06:24

Come on lets get serious these guys could not even predict their own shameful downfall hours before the Westminster vote on Syria. Now they are saying they can predict an event 30 years into the future.

The mind boggles… it really does.

Beam me up Scotty.
2013-09-03 06:53

Why is it that people like Osbourne preface their argument about Scottish independence by telling us what we will lose, is that how they see us? we just need put back in our box and told to be good little boys or sanctions will follow? do we really want to be in a union with a country who seek to subjugate another by bullying and cajoling with stories about how much worse off they can make US but, avoid any mention about what THEY will lose,
does the man think were stupid?
he has a budget every year to react to economic climate at that time but seems very able to see thirty years into the future? boy that’s some skill, I don’t know how thew UK has survived up until now without you Gideon.
I for one am getting thoroughly sick of these fools thinking were as thick as they are.
2013-09-03 07:18

Wallpapering over the cracks in his argument, I’m sure, for example, the removal of the political border between Spain & Gibralter would work wonders for the economies of both parties.
Jamie Black
2013-09-03 07:41

Communities abandoned? I thought it was the Scottish Government who wanted to plough tens if not hundreds of millions on yet another train service between Glasgow and Edinburgh whilst leaving outlying areas no better served than 50years ago.

The same Scottish Government who will leave Dunoon to rot because they simply cannot order a decent boat to serve during winter. The same Scottish Goverment who have completely abandoned Kilcreggan and the Rosneath peninsula and will not make any effort to support their calls for a reliable and sustainable ferry.

Nicola Sturgeon represents the Scottish Government who whilst claiming families are facing real hardship, are happy to spend oodles of money on a Gaelic dictionary (something like TWO MILLION) or things like finding the National Tree. So much for hardship when they can fling cash about for vanity projects.
2013-09-03 10:31

I would imagine every sane person does not like waste but your choice of examples are very poor, allow me to help.
In no particular order.
Edinburgh trams? London sewer repairs? HS2? PFI? Jubilee? London Olympics? Iraq? Nuclear Weapons? Afghanistan? Trident upgrade? Aircraft carriers without aircraft? House of Lords? Libya? GCHQ? Banking bailout? Nuclear energy subsidies? BBC Tax? Private rail company subsidies? Fraudulent MP expenses?
There are more but that will do to be getting on with.
Glad to be of help.
2013-09-03 15:14

What do you think about the new library in Birmingham that cost £189m while funding for other libraries are being cut?

And what do you think of the £34m that currently is being used to rebuild the online Oxford English Dictionary?

2013-09-03 07:45

An independent Scotland will remain in a single market – the EU. If the tories wil the next Westminster election they may vote to leave it. What do you think about that, Gordon?
2013-09-03 08:07

It is very interesting that the theme for the Oil exhibition in Aberdeen is “The next 50 years”.

I think those who invest, manage and work in this area know a lot more about it’s future than George does. The only other explanation is he does know and is lying about the future income.

Don’t waste 50 years of Oil & Gas production on Westminster follies such as Trident/ High speed rail / more wars / etc etc
2013-09-03 08:13

Ah, the Border Effect.

Otherwise known as turning the truth into a lie. Take a well known and accepted financial phenomenon and multiply it by roughly 100 fold for Scots electoral consumption. Yes there is and will be a border effect as our economies diverge and we attempt to build a successful and productive economy. What George neglects to point out is that neither our government or economy will remain stagnant during this period.

The £2000 pounds over 30yrs is a laughable dreamland attempt at bribery. It does not come even close to the provable cash savings and benefits of independence which will put upwards of £500pp in the hands of the electorate from day one.
2013-09-03 08:17

Listening to Mr Osborne on the radio this morning I’m thinking that if this is the best he’s got we’ve got nothing to fear.

Only problem is how to get the message out there
2013-09-03 08:59

Osborne managed to sneak in a mention of “relying on only one industry”.

We need to remind him of agriculture, forestry, fishing and aquaculture, hydro electricity, electronics, engineering, construction, chemicals, renewables, whisky & brewing, finance & commerce, plus the bonus of oil and gas.

By the way, the treasury gets the benefits from corporation tax and other revenues from these sectors.

The treasury also gets all our income tax and NICS. It takes all our excise duties road tax, alcohol, etc.

This income to the treasury has benefited the City of London and the south-east of England, where the wealth is concentrated.

How can anyone think this makes Scotland better in the union?

2013-09-03 08:26

80% decrease in exports to the UK?

Well bearing in mind that exports from the current UK are broken down to where any exported goods leave UK soil. More often than not Scottish whisky and salmon flys out of London and therefore dosen’t count as a Scottish export.
Therefore world wide exports from Scotland will increase by far more than the 80% we are being threatend with!

I suppose the UK will still want Scotlands water and electricity though!
2013-09-03 08:40

Load of abject piffle. All I want is a simplistic true and un-fettered Independence both from perfidious, deceitful and spiteful Albion and away, far far away from the EUSSR as possible. Find a safe home in the EFTA side of the EEA and reap the benefits without all the costs and the huge administration and civil service that would lumber Scotland were we to stay in the EU.
2013-09-03 09:10

Thought Gary Robertson was too lenient with Gideon this morning by not pressing the comparison with Norway. It must have been difficult interviewing someone who had no evidence to lead in making his points though. Managing the oil industry, oil fund, inequality, austerity, bank crisis, etc….only waffle, lies and assertions, never a direct answer.

The bottom line for me is to ask myself, has Osborne ever made a forecast which has turned out to be accurate?
2013-09-03 09:16

I thought he Robertson did ok this morning.
As you say must have been a difficult interview dealing with all that waffle.

2013-09-03 10:48

Oh, give me a break, the Treasury giving us a 30 yr. forecast to show how good it could be for Scotland, when the same treasury couldn’t see the impending disaster coming from the financial institutes and LONDON was one of the BIGGEST players in the downfall.

I only hope that the Scottish audience listening to this tripe will, at the end of his piece, show some intelligence and BURST OUT LAUGHING.
2013-09-03 11:05

Ah, what would we irresponsible, spendthrift Scots do with all that volatile oil and gas revenues (on top of all our other revenues) without our Bullingdon Boy Chancer of the Exchequer to keep us right?

We might spend it on rubbish like a fairer welfare system, improved roads (e.g. A9 dualled), more new social and private housing, improving our NHS and schools, etc. Instead of more worthwhile things like HS2, London’s Tube (no not Boris Buffoon, the other one), bombing Syria and financing the House of Lords.

Amazing the financial expertise one can achieve from the work experience of folding towels in Claridges!
2013-09-03 11:36

Latest BBC – with Comments allowed!

“Alex Salmond to lay out SNP government plans”…/…

The unionists have been waiting for this to open obviously – lots of anti Salmond comments….
call me dave
2013-09-03 12:55

Thanks for the heads up.
Commenting on the BBC… almost had a dizzy turn.. blue moon tonight.

2013-09-03 11:55

Meanwhile his property price reheat, designed only to give a temporary impression of recovery for political purposes, will only make the final reckoning even worse.

Despicable creature.
2013-09-03 12:13

The UK government couldn’t even predict the credit bubble and subsequent collapse literally weeks before it happened in 2007… now they can magically predict 30 years into the future!
2013-09-03 13:18

George Osbourne couldn’t predict whether his hand could co-ordinate toilet paper in a manner sufficient to wipe his own bottom and that goes for all his ‘independent’ reports from London predicting how poor Scotland would be without the uk-they are making it up as they go along.

It is hilarious watching Fraser from bbc scotland loving how great Osbourne is so we must be better together because oil (and everything else) is bad when Scotland controls it and utterly frigging magic when the uk is wasting it!
John SJ
2013-09-03 15:14

Based on the past record of the Treasury and OBR it will be surprising if his predictions last thirty months, or even thirty days.
2013-09-03 15:22

It is amazing to me that none of the broadsheets in the rest of the UK don’t pick up on this. If Osborne made a 30year prediction about some part of English or Welsh income they would be all over it, at least the Guardian or the Independent would have something to say about it.
Seems the fact that he is making outrageous claims here just doesn’t impact on them concerning his general behaviour. It doesn’t matter if he lies to us!
If a senior was Government Minister was abroad and made some outrageous claim to the people, it would be critically reported.
2013-09-03 15:30

I also watched Douglas Fraser struggling badly on the one 0’clock news as he tried to justify Osbourne’s speech as something good for Scotland.
He was very obvious in that he couldnt really believe it himself, and that Osbourne was speaking crap.
It did not come across on the BBC as a very honest attempt to convince us Scots of the benefit of being in the union.

Westminster can keep sending numptys like Osbourne up, it just helps the YES campaign.

Saor Alba.
2013-09-03 17:39

How accurate have Treasury predictions been in the past five years?
2013-09-03 19:06

Apparently the UK government in 2008 did not see the banking crisis coming and yet here is George Osborne claiming he can predict the financial landscape 30 years into the future.

There is, however, one world economist who saw the 2008 financial meltdown coming. Australian Professor Steve Keen, the Revere Prize winning economist said

“the ‘UK economy is a ponzi scheme that is about to go bust – Scotland should get out while it still can’.

I trust Professor Keen’s judgement over Osborne’s any day of the week.

YES Scotland.
2013-09-03 20:27

Many unionist leaning economists make forecasts about Scotland’s future prospects based on how it has performed under London management in the past.
Of course,this is nonsense.
An independent Scotland will not follow the policy constraints enforced by a London centric economic policy.
Apart from the bounce effect of independence,a Scottish government will ensure that our natural resources will be managed in a long term sustainable manner and not squandered as would happen with London rule.
Osborne and his pals are only interested in how much and how quickly they can deplete our resources.
That applies to London Labour as well.

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