Victory for the SNP as fossil fuel fund set to be released

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News that David Cameron is to sanction the release of £185 million from Scotland’s fossil fuel fund….

News that David Cameron is to sanction the release of £185 million from Scotland’s fossil fuel fund is a victory for the SNP who have consistently called for the funds to be made available in order to help Scotland’s fledgling renewable energy sector.

The fund is an accumulation of money paid into an account by energy companies as a result of a carbon tax on profits.  The money was to be used in order to fund Scottish renewable energy projects.

The move by new PM David Cameron will be hugely embarrassing for Labour who had persistently rejected SNP calls to release the cash when they formed the UK Government.  Labour had argued that if they did so then the same amount would be slashed from the Scottish block grant.

The news that the funds are finally to be released was welcomed by the Scottish government who said it would be used in order to help Scotland’s renewable industries.

SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney said:
“There was an independent report which demonstrated that the offshore renewable resource could be estimated to generate over 200GW of electricity.

“Scotland’s consumption of electricity is 6GW at any given time, so there is a huge opportunity and we want to seize that.
 
“Having access to the fossil fuel levy would enable us to do that.”

The fossil fuel levy was just one of a number of funding areas recently identified by the SNP as they seek to strengthen the Scottish economy.

The First Minister has also drawn attention to the massive spend in the South East of England due to the London Olympics and the UK Treasury’s refusal to provide equivalent funds, called ‘consequentials’, to Scotland.

He also called for capital spending to be accelerated in order to bolster Scotland’s fragile economic recovery.