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Scotland's fiscal position worsened in 2012–13 as North Sea revenues fell

Today, the Scottish Government published the latest version of its annual Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland (GERS) publication covering 2012–13. The IFS will be publishing a full report on these figures and the last pre-referendum update of our assessment of Scotland’s fiscal position next month. But what are the key findings that jump out of the latest year of data?

UKCS Maximising Recovery Review Final Report launched

On 10 June 2013 Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, announced a review of UK offshore oil and gas recovery and its regulation, led by Sir Ian Wood. The UK’s oil and gas industry is of national importance and makes a substantial contribution to our economy, energy security and employment. 42 billion barrels of oil and gas have already been produced from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), and 12 – 24 billion more could still be produced.

Scotland has been championed as the ‘green capital’ of Europe. The ambitious climate change legislation passed unanimously by the parliament in 2009 is often hailed by ministers as ‘world-leading’.

This ambition is reflected in the White Paper, albeit with less emphasis than one might have expected. The White Paper talks of “Using independence to build a clean, green and nuclear-free nation”, which would make Scotland “a beacon of environmentalism and sustainability”.

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