Scottish Independence: SNP Entices North Sea Oil and Gas Firms with Tax Break Hint
Scottish Independence: SNP Entices North Sea Oil and Gas Firms with Tax Break HintReuters

Scotland's government has hinted that North Sea oil and gas firms will receive tax breaks if voting goes in the direction of independence.

Speaking to business leaders in Scotland's oil and gas hub, Aberdeen, minister for energy, enterprise and tourism Fergus Ewing said that the tax regime may change and that it was time to distance the country away from Westminster, which "squandered" revenues.

"In order to maximise the economic recovery, future governments will require to play their part in considering what role tax changes are necessary," said Ewing.

He added that a committee would be created to decide on taxation within the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Scottish people will vote in an independence referendum on 18 September, 2014, and will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Former oil executive Sir Ian Wood has warned against the Scottish National Party's estimation of oil production, which he claims is around 45% to 60% too high, adding that dwindling reserves are set to impact jobs and the country's economy.

The Scottish government claims there are 24 billion barrels of oil left in the North Sea while Wood stipulates that there are in fact only 15 billion to 16.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil left.

In keeping with the pro-independence campaign's oil production claims, N-56, which was founded by a member of the advisory board for Yes Scotland Dan Macdonald, North Sea revenues are pegged to be as high as £365bn (€456bn, $605bn) by 2041, if a series of recommendations were implemented.

However, the UK Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast is at £61.6bn between 2013/14 and 2040/41.