HEALEY ADMITS OIL TAX COVER UP
When your in the voting booth on the 18th of September 2014 just remember this story borrowed from the Sunday Post on May the 19 2013 – it should never be allowed to be forgotten! – remember this is still happening today!
HEALEY ADMITS OIL TAX COVER-UP
The former Labour Chancellor, Denis Healey, has admitted his Government played down the value of Scotland’s oil reserves in the 1970s because of the threat of nationalism.
Now Lord Healey of Riddlesden, the Labour peer said tax receipts from oil is the biggest factor behind Westminster opposition to both next year’s and the 1979 independence referendum.
The 95-year-old also claimed the Westminster parties are “worried stiff” about Scots voting Yes in next year’s poll because of the valuable income from the North Sea. Meanwhile he joined former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson in backing a bid for the UK to quit the European Union.
Lord Healey said the UK would “suffer enormously” without the billions of pounds of tax from North Sea oil. He said:
“I think they [Westminster politicians] are concerned about Scotland taking the oil, I think they are worried stiff about it. I think we would suffer enormously if the income from Scottish oil stopped but if the Scots want it [independence], they should have it and we would just need to adjust. But I would think Scotland could survive perfectly well, economically, if it was independent. Yes, I would think so… with the oil.”
In 1974 a leading Government economist, Professor Gavin McCrone, wrote a report which stated that Scotland would have had “embarrassingly” large tax surpluses as a result of the North Sea oil boom. Lord Healey’s Labour government decided to keep that document under wraps until it was eventually released in 2005. Reflecting on this time, Lord Healey said:
“I think we did underplay the value of the oil to the country because of the threat of nationalism but that was mainly down to Thatcher. We didn’t actually see the rewards from oil in my period in office because we were investing in the infrastructure rather than getting the returns and, really, Thatcher wouldn’t have been able to carry out any of her policies without that additional five per cent on GDP from oil. Incredible good luck she had from that.”
Asked if he had considered establishing a sovereign wealth fund with the oil revenues to invest in the country’s future when he was in office, he said: “It’s true that we should have invested the money in things we needed in Britain and I had thought about an oil fund, but it wasn’t my responsibility by then.”