25 May 2013

Stevenson Welcomes Comments from Former Labour Chancellor

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed comments from former Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey in which he confirms that the UK Treasury played down the extent of Scotland’s oil reserves in the 1970s.

Denis, now Lord, Healey was Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer during the time the St Fergus Gas Terminal and Cruden Bay oil pipeline were being constructed.

Speaking in an interview, Lord Healey said that Scotland “pays its fair share” and that “these myths” about Scotland being subsidised are simply perpetuated by those who oppose independence. In the interview, he says: “Scotland could survive perfectly well, economically, if it was independent.”

Lord Healey also says that an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would gain from a sterling area, and reportedly “doesn’t see why Westminster could say the Scots couldn’t have it.”

This follows his admission that the Treasury purposely played down the extent of Scotland’s oil reserves in the 1970s because of UK Government opposition to Scottish independence.

Commenting, local MSP Stewart Stevenson, said:

“These welcome remarks by Lord Healey should silence the No campaign - which daily denigrates Scotland's abilities to be an independent country. Even David Cameron accepts that Scotland can be a 'successful, independent country'!

"Denis Healey, a former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, also agrees with the SNP Government that a sterling area would be in the interests of the rest of the UK as much as in Scotland’s interests.

"These are common-sense statements of reality by Lord Healey – a distinguished public figure who now has no political axe to grind in Scotland - and they stand in stark contrast to the arrant nonsense being peddled by George Osborne and Michael Moore, and regurgitated by the No campaign.

“Scotland can grasp the opportunity that 18 September 2014 represents – we cannot afford to find ourselves in the same situation as now and in the past, misled by a Westminster system which puts its own interests ahead of Scotland's. We may have been fooled once before by Westminster, but we will not be fooled again.

“The mounting evidence shows that only a Yes vote in next year’s referendum will give Scotland the economic and fiscal powers we need to build the fairer, more prosperous nation that we all want to live in.”

Stewart Stevenson
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