Battle over SNP’s ‘black hole’

By Calum Ross

Published: 06/12/2013

A fresh war of words broke out last night over the prospects of an independent Scotland after official forecasts for North Sea oil and gas revenues were slashed.

Chancellor George Osborne claimed there was a “black hole” in the SNP’s plans as falls in offshore production and record investment levels led to predictions of lower tax receipts.

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) figures were “not consistent” with industry expectations, and appeared to be backed by trade body Oil and Gas UK, which described the report as “pessimistic”.

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