World Economy

Scottish Economy Still Suffering From Oil Slump

Scottish Economy Still Suffering From Oil Slump
Scottish Economy Still Suffering From Oil Slump

The Scottish economy is still suffering the effects of a fall in the price of oil and gas, a government minister has said. Speaking on the Sunday Politics Scotland program, employability minister Jamie Hepburn cited a Fraser of Allander report.

It said the economy was close to recession and was performing poorly when compared with the UK as a whole. The report suggested much—but not all—of the explanation was the oil price, BBC reported.

Hepburn said: “About two-thirds of the sluggish growth is down to the oil and gas downturn.” He added: “Clearly there are other underlying trends that we have to get underneath the skin of. But I think the other things we should reflect on are the strengths of the Scottish economy.”

Dean Lockhart of the Scottish Conservatives told the program that the SNP had to take responsibility for economic performance. He said: “This is a real indictment. The Fraser of Allander report... said we’ve had a lost decade under the SNP and that’s absolutely right.”

Scottish Labor’s Jackie Baillie said growth had fallen under the SNP. “If you look at the Scottish economy over the last 10 years, it has grown by 1.2%,” she said. “That’s a really small figure when you compare it to the preceding seven years, when it grew by 17%.”

Earlier, the program had heard from an economist who believes the oil price fall has been a factor, along with wider underlying problems.

Prof David Bell of the University of Stirling said: “The fall in the price of oil had a really pretty bad consequence for the northeast, which spread out across the rest of Scotland.”


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