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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 February, 2005, 14:20 GMT
Salmond in oil profit fund plea
SNP leader Alex Salmond
Alex Salmond said Scotland was missing out
The leader of the Scottish National Party has repeated calls for a North Sea oil windfall fund to be set up.

The plea by Alex Salmond came after oil giant BP announced a 26% rise in profits following record oil prices.

The MP believes politicians should follow Norway's lead and establish a special oil revenue fund providing long-term investment for Scotland.

Mr Salmond claims the UK Government has taken billions in oil to fund things like the war in Iraq and Trident.

Last week, oil company Shell reported an annual profit of $17.5bn - a record profit for a UK-listed company.

BP chief executive Lord Browne said his company's results were strong "both operationally and financially".

BP logo
BP said its results were strong both operationally and financially
Mr Salmond said that while BP and Shell were enjoying massive profits, Scotland had failed to benefit from its oil wealth.

He added: "The SNP's proposals to establish an oil fund would ensure that our oil wealth is not squandered by the London government but is invested to ensure that Scotland and future generations benefit from this win on the natural lottery.

"With the current average price of oil at $45 and 30 years worth of oil and gas left to exploit, Scotland stands to benefit from a further trillion dollars in the future.

"Scotland needs equal status with other countries so that we can pursue these forward thinking policies."

'Hollow ring'

Following BP's profit announcement on Tuesday, the Transport and General Workers Union in Scotland said the public, customers and the workforce had seen no benefits.

T&G organiser Pat Rafferty said: "The global results of 8.7bn have been announced against a backdrop of UK plant closures and the sale of UK profit generating sites while production of products is transferred to continental Europe.

"There's a hollow ring to the back-slapping from our point of view as UK manufacturing sites, particularly in Scotland, have been devastated in recent years in terms of number of workers employed.

"The BP brand is no longer associated with stability and security and as an entity at the heart of the UK economy."

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27 Jul 04 |  Business
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28 Apr 04 |  Scotland
Investors downbeat on BP profits
10 Feb 04 |  Business

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