Ireland’s wealth – Scotland considers what might have been. 

From Frances McKie:

Ireland has just announced that it will establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund -using their currently huge Budget Surpluses- forecast to  rise to over £16 Billion next year.

In this way, Ireland will follow the example of Australia-another former British colony – and Norway- who have used oil revenues and other windfall wealth to build and renew their infrastructures and  insure their future national needs against more difficult economic  circumstances.

Scotland- 50 years after North Sea Oil Revenues began flowing to Norway and- in Scotland’s case-  to Westminster and the corrupt, hedge-fund, oligarch-ridden City of London- has no  hope of a Sovereign Wealth Fund. 

Instead, we have  endured 20 years of UK austerity and deliberate poverty directed by Westminster  (Labour and Tory) – policies openly and repeatedly condemned by the United Nations. Other horror lies in the creaking UK rail infrastructure ( Network Rail)  and – in England’s case-  advanced privatisation (and  consequent collapse) of the NHS and water services in particular.

The oil revenues which cushioned Norway throughout Covid, allowing  that nation to lead economic and medical support to other countries throughout the pandemic, are still  building their  strategic  Sovereign Wealth Fund. No wonder Ireland has decided to use its current wealth from hi-tech foreign investment to do the same.

Meanwhile, as the asset-stripping continues in Scotland- rich in oil and sustainable energy sources,  a world leader in many hi-tech industries, especially EU supported research into  wave, tidal and green hydrogen, ,  with a massive surplus in food and drink exports- such revenues  are still feeding the rotten, gaping  maws of Westminster and the City of London – otherwise known  as the “world money laundering centre”.

Therefore, while Ireland is to be congratulated on such  enviable prosperity and strategic planning, her news today  is surely also painful and galling – as Scotland considers what might have been. 

That is, until and unless we are inspired- at last- to follow her example of independence.


14 thoughts on “Ireland’s wealth – Scotland considers what might have been. 

  1. Galling.
    Wasn’t expecting to see anything about this in any of the UK msm, but it is there and used for a purpose, “Ireland’s low taxes pay off”.
    The spirits behind Truss are not dead.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Unfortunately the majority of people living in Scotland don’t have a clue that they have been robbed. They really believe they are better off as part of the UK. They believe that their pensions, jobs, and living standards are protected by remaining in the Union.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yet their living standards have been reduced hugely, all in it together eh. I suspect any funds for social projects etc will certainly not be coming to Scotland, and as EU funding for all sorts of areas in research, social and community well being, etc, has been removed by the English government dragging Scotland out of the EU, it’s going to be tricky if not impossible for the ScotGov to continue to repair the neglect to Scotland’s infrastructure etc which is the result of English rule. Tragic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Where has all the oil money gone in the pockets of the Tories and their friends.
    According to Bowie more than 20 to 30 years of oil left so where will that go England unless we all wake up and get Independence Done.
    Bowie said this yesterday on the Coburn show.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s £trillions upon £trillions. If you look up energy at the National Library of Scotland ‘moving image archive’, you can see some films about England’s oil industry in Scotland. Most are not available to watch online, but some are, it’s tragic and in fact at the beginning, of course, the industry was invested in by the Americans, they controlled it and, there’s a film about oil workers having to live in caravans with their families in Aberdeen, no proper housing was provided. type ‘oil’ into the browse and search at the NLS site as I say, for some films about it.

      Also I have a rather heavy book, almost 800 pages, titled, ‘Natural resources in Scotland, Symposium at the ‘Royal society of Edinburgh’, 1960. They knew that Scotland had masses of oil in it’s terrotorial waters way before it was declared, even in the 1950’s and probably before when geological surveys were carried out by England’s government, after they had fully surveyed England. Some folks must have been rubbing their dirty paws together, the money that was to be made and taken from Scotland was and is massive. Now of course with high tech to locate oil and other essential minerals for tech etc, that are being found in the Highlands, the English cabal/administration/gov, know exactly what’s there, and they are going to take it by force if necessary.

      Note that the book I have (‘withdrawn’, it had belonged to Somerset county council!) does not say, ‘Scotland’s resources’ but only ‘IN Scotland’.
      It costs a lot to prospect for and extract oil etc, sadly and it pains me to say, Scotland’s resources are huge and without independence, they will continue to be stolen with no benefit to Scotland and the people of Scotland.

      As a note, houses and flats around us in affluent part of Edinburgh are selling like hotcakes, and, as I read a few years ago, an estate agent here said that the majority of property sales in Scotland go to folk from England.
      Better health service, better services altogether and beautiful countryside on their doorstep, clean water, what’s not to like and want and take!

      I despair.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Scotland and the rest of the UK have suffered austerity, largely due to an undue focus on that mysterious thing called fiscal sustainability – now adopted by Starmerite Labour! However, Ireland having a surplus is not necessarily a model to follow. Youth unemployment in Ireland has been stuck on 10% for years, whereas currently Scotland has about half that – and that’s with a lot less powerful economic levers than either Ireland or the UK.

    The issue is whether its a sustainable plan for Ireland to be a tax haven in order to run a budget surplus and thereby put other countries into private or public sector deficits.

    The tax revenues don’t reflect economic activity in Ireland but economic activity elsewhere, booked for tax purposes in Ireland.
    Clearly this is not a generally applicable way for governments to raise revenue. Not every country can successfully “import” its tax revenues from other countries – that’s not economics, it’s just arithmetic. Similarly, not every country can be a net exporter of cars.

    If other counties compete with Ireland for tax revenue using the same strategies – we get the proverbial “race to the bottom”.

    What about the high paid jobs in Ireland? A lot of those jobs came from US pharma companies choosing to switch manufacturing from the US to Ireland, using tax residency in Ireland to benefit from the lower corporate tax.
    The US knows this but doesn’t want another argument with the EU on trade, so that shields Ireland – so far!
    But that can change, and Ireland is also feeding off its fellow EU members. It’s parasitic, and that is not going unnoticed.

    The reason Ireland may put the surplus into a Sovereign Wealth Fund is that it knows other countries are fed up with it facilitating tax avoidance on an industrial scale and will eventually find a way of putting a stop to it. It’s not a long-term strategy. It’s a short-term smash and grab.

    For Norway, the Sovereign Wealth Fund is a more long term strategy.

    if you are an exporter of something like oil on a massive scale, a huge influx of foreign currencies can have a destabilising effect on the country’s economy. The output from the expanding sector will generate large foreign currency income which, if the recipient businesses try to exchange for domestic currency, will put a lot of upward pressure on the currency in the Forex markets – hence making exports more expensive. This would further depress other sectors of the economy. So, although the concept of a hugely powerful export market for oil would seem to be a good idea, it has potentially negative consequences for the wider economy.

    This happened to the Netherlands when gas reserves were discovered in the 1970s, and the term “Dutch disease” was coined as a shorthand way of describing these adverse effects. Norway learned from the Netherlands and invests the surplus revenues of the Norwegian petroleum sector in its Sovereign Wealth Fund. It was created simply to prevent Dutch disease. Keeping most of the currency inflow out of the real economy has the effect of keeping it stable. Also, note that the inflow is not held in the domestic currency – it is all in foreign currencies. Trying to spend any of it in any significant quantity could be severely disruptive to the country whose currency is being spent, and to Norway.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your points are well made.

      You mention Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, the UK, the USA. Different policy approaches over time but one thing in common- AGENCY.

      Having a democracy that has the latter still seems to be too scary for too many in Scotland. Better to let others decide – Scotland’s future/England’s choice!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. It’s been beaten into the people of Scotland, that they are poor, their country is poor and needs England’s dosh to pay pensions, to pay for the Scottish NHS etc. Also with England in full control of the media, it’s a huge task to change peoples’ ideas about how their country is more than capable of functioning effectively for the people of Scotland, should it escape the clutches of the (thieving) neighbour next door. It’s easier re the internet, but many still use the media piped into their living rooms as their go to news and information about how they are a basket case country. Folks just don’t always think er why on earth would England want to keep sending all their hard earned cash to the country next door, Scotland, hmm. A tricky one that because the country next door is not exactly known for their generosity or philanthropy towards other nations.
        The progress that the SNP have made in just a few years, in repairing long term neglect (re infrastructure and societally for eg), by the English rule, is quite staggering, imagine what could be done with full fiscal powers via independence. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. For the long term neglect by “English rule”, read Labour rule from England with the aid of their mainly useless Scottish MPs.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Just today in Holyrood, at FMQs, Labour’s Anas Sarwar opted to focus on what’s best for Scotland, a Labour or a Tory government in Westminster. He is simply acknowledging the crucial importance of Westminster government to what happens to – to what is done to – Scotland.

            But who decides who governs in Westminster? England’s electorate!

            Sarwar’s Unionism is content to keep Scotland as a perpetual spectator, sometimes peripheral to government in Westminster by Labour and more often to government by Tories.

            Scotland’s future/ England’ choice!

            Liked by 1 person

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