Frequently Asked Questions - Will an independent Scotland establish an oil fund to safeguard the benefits of our oil and gas production?
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Yes, that is the intention of the current Scottish Government. Since the 1970s, approximately £300 billion in tax receipts (in today’s prices) has gone directly to the Westminster Exchequer, with none of it being saved for the future. We cannot repeat this mistake in the future.
The Scottish Government proposes that an independent Scotland will establish a Scottish Energy Fund which will be both a stabilisation fund and long-term investment fund into which a portion of tax revenues will be invested when fiscal conditions allow. Stabilisation funds and sovereign wealth funds are common among oil and gas producing countries, with the UK being a notable exception.
Norway provides a good example of how a country can effectively manage its oil and gas revenues. It established its oil fund in 1990, although the first net investment was modest and was not made until 1996. The fund is now the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, worth around £470 billion. It currently owns, on average, 2.5 per cent of every listed company in Europe, and 1.2 per cent of the world’s listed companies. These investments have achieved average annual returns of 5.9 per cent over the last five years.
Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.