In an interview with Holyrood Magazine which is reported in today’s Sunday Post, former Labour Leader Lord Neil Kinnock has said the Tories under Thatcher squandered the potential of oil in ‘one of the most untransparent and unfaithful acts of modern government.’ Commenting, SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:
“Neil Kinnock, who was leader of the Labour party from 1983 to 1992, has said it was a ‘tragedy and a regret’ that an oil fund along the lines of Norway’s was never pursued by Westminster.
“Lord Kinnock's comments follow Labour ex-Chancellor Denis Healey’s admission that Westminster played down the value of oil in the 1970s because of the SNP and the independence campaign.
“Out of the 20 largest oil-producing nations in the world, only the UK and Iraq have not established oil funds - compared to Norway which has succeeded in creating an oil fund worth £460 billion. Yet the head of the No campaign, Alistair Darling - who was a Shadow Minister under Neil Kinnock - still argues that Scotland’s oil is better controlled by Westminster, despite its deplorable record.
"Neil Kinnock himself said ‘any time in the next 20 years will still not be too late.’ With independence, an SNP government would establish an oil fund. Only with a YES vote in the referendum next year can we ensure that Westminster’s mistakes are not repeated, and that Scotland’s oil and gas wealth provides a lasting benefit for future generations.”