Is Scotland’s Green investment being Scammed?

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Green industry experts have warned that the Governments £1 billion pledge for a new green investment bank will be “too low” to have any impact in boosting the low carbon economy. Ministers have also been told that the institution proposed needed to be an independent bank, and not just a fund to raise billions of pounds from the private investors.

Alex Salmond, the First Minister for Scotland has recently been told that Scotland would receive £250 million from the proposed Green Investment Bank. However, Mr Salmond believes this to be a massive ruse and a betrayal of the Lib Dem promise to release fossil fuel levy funds to Scotland in a way that was additional to the budget. The Lib Dem’s manifesto stated “ We will release the Scottish money paid to Ofgem under the Fossil Fuel Levy as a one-off payment in the 2011 budget and give control of future revenues to the Scottish Government. This will likely lead to an increase in resources for Scotland of around £250 million in 2011 – 2012.”

No wonder Scotland’s parliament passed a resolution describing the Con-Dem offer as: “a transparent act of sleight-of-hand that the Scottish Liberal Democrats should be ashamed to support.”

Mr. Salmond has now stepped up his campaign to get the UK coalition government to hand over £191 million green energy fund to Scotland, which is at present languishing in energy regulator Ofgem’s London bank account. He has revealed that he has written personally to David Cameron demanding that the Prime Minister unlocks the fossil fuel levy with no strings attached. Salmond claims that Scotland has been betrayed by Westminster because of the conditions imposed by Cameron.

The deal would mean that Scotland would surrender the current £191 million from the levy in return for a Treasury pledge to “ring-fence” £250 million for Scotland from the Green Investment Bank, an initiative that will not be up and running until 2013 – 2014.

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