TAX revenues from Scotland’s oil and gas industry could soar to three times more than official estimates – to almost £12 billion by 2018 – according to the Scottish Government.
John McLaren and Jo Armstrong appear to be unaware of the fact that we already have a "pessimistic scenario" in the shape of the leaked discussion paper. Which is surprising given the extraordinary fuss that has been made about the document by the British parties and the unionist media.
John Swinney's forecasts, none of which were anything like as calamitous as the anti-independence campaign claims, were based on figures from the UK Government's Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) which included a very low oil price of $90. What is that if not a worst-case scenario.
And let us not forget that even with this worst-case scenario Scotland's prospects as an independent country look considerably better than as part of the UK.
While some experts may predict oil falling to sub-$100 levels none expects the price to languish at such levels for any length of time. At worst, this is the bottom end of the range within which prices will fluctuate. That's what volatility means. It does not mean, as unionists would have people believe, that things must always and inevitably work out for the worst.
There will be good years and bad years for oil revenues. What the people of Scotland need to remember is that successive UK Governments have utterly failed to manage these revenues in such a way as to smooth the impact of such fluctuations, or to provide for the time when the revenues must eventually decline. And yet they want us to believe that we should continue to entrust them with the husbanding of our resources.
Why would we do that?