Here is Calum's main point:
The Government paper is alleged to indicate that Scotland would have "a massive £3.5 billion budget deficit" - the UK deficit last year was £49.3bn. Scotland has about 9% of the UK population, so our population share of the UK deficit would be £4.44bn, so Scotland is performing better in economic terms than the UK. Since 1980 Scotland is supposed to have an accumulated deficit of £23.5bn, but the UK has carried a £353.2bn deficit over that period, and Scotland's population share of that deficit would have been£31.79bn. So what the Scotland Office / Treasury report actually shows is that Scotland performs better than the UK economically.I wouldn't be in the least surprised if the UK government is being economical with the truth about oil and deficits. But I've always thought that an independent Scotland could survive and prosper even with no oil revenues. In fact, we might even be better off without oil. What matters are the cultural attitudes of the population and the economic policies carried out by the government. Scotland has had a business oriented population in the past and it can have one again in the future.