Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Cool on Oil, Warm on Whisky

Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Cool on Oil, Warm on Whisky

Article excerpt

Scottish reactions to the Budget were coloured by the prospect of the September independence referendum.

George Osborne announced a downgrading of oil revenue forecasts. This, he claimed, would leave every adult in an independent Scotland £1,000 worse off, adding that 'Britain is better together'.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said that the Budget allowed Scots to contrast a fast-growing UK economy with the 'uncertainties' of independence.

But Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said it was 'curious' that the chancellor had backed Sir Ian Wood's proposals for boosting future North Sea development, and in the next sentence downgraded the sector's prospects.

However, there was a widespread welcome for the ending of the alcohol price escalator and the freeze on whisky duties, which the industry argued have been choking off home sales. …

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