IN the 1970s Scotland’s oil fields were sold to multinational companies. Scots got some jobs but the oil companies and the UK Treasury took the vast bulk of the profits.

Some 50 years on we have learned nothing, it seems. The Scottish Government have sold off seabed plots for major offshore wind projects around the Scottish coast for £700 million. I do wonder what this windfall (pun intended) to the Scottish Government will be used for. Presumably not to offset the massive fuel bills we all face.

WATCH: Anas Sarwar and Nicola Sturgeon clash over ScotWind firms

I am all for recycling, but is it not ironic that much of the money used by the likes of Scottish Power (Spanish-owned) to buy these assets will be squeezed from the pockets of its Scottish customers, many currently at a loss as to how they will pay their next fuel bill?

From the warmth of her office, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the ScotWind auction as a “truly historic opportunity for Scotland’s net-zero economy”. I would be willing to bet that the vast bulk of the construction work will not come to Scotland. Turbines will be imported and assembled on site. In another 50 years our grandchildren will wonder what on earth we were thinking. The only net zero we will get is in the bank balances of many families.

In the 1850s the population in Ireland starved whilst wheat was exported to Britain. In the 2020s people in Scotland will freeze whilst the money will be shipped out to Spanish shareholders.

John Baird

I HAVE never been a critic of the First Minister – she has many, many positive qualities – but I’ve always felt that when it came to foreign affairs and economics the SNP leader was out of her depth. Proof of this is her naive fire sale of our wind resources.

Scotland doesn’t have the borrowing powers to enable us to invest in our own turbines. Ironic, since Blair and Brown allowed councils to borrow all the money they wanted from private financiers at extortionate terms under PFI. Red Tories indeed.

READ MORE: We're making a mistake with ScotWind – this is what we should do instead

Meantime the rising domestic energy prices will cause real hardship to a level we’ve never experienced. A resource-rich country with many of its citizens living in poverty. Normally it’s third world countries that are exploited like this.

This brings into sharp focus the reality that we need sensible governance. If the Bank of England controls our finances and foreign energy companies own our resources, we will still not have the means to create a better society after independence.

James Arthur

I CANNOT believe that the Scottish Government is selling off our natural resources and for a mere pittance. Did no-one think of the future? This is exactly how Westminster runs the country – look good today and forget the future. Well I have news for the Scottish Government: the young people in this country will never forgive them – what a sell-out!

I am finding it very difficult not to be really insulting, but is there a functioning brain in this administration, or is it “to hell with the people, we will do as we like”? Thatcher’s ghost is hovering over Holyrood.

Rosemary Smith
East Kilbride

WHILE I wholly agree with Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh that the Westminster government sold off Scotland’s oil for a fraction of its worth back in the 1970s (Our prize assets have been sold down the river – once again, Jan 19), the latest auction of the seabed for wind power by the Scottish Government is much more nuanced that she suggests. She compared the £800 million annual payment that England and Wales gets with the one-off £700m that the Scottish Government will receive.

Firstly, in England and Wales it is shallower waters, near the coast and relatively cheaper and easier to develop, so a much more competitive option. In Scotland, it is deeper water, far out to sea, and likely using floating turbines which are significantly more expensive, so the bid price reflects that.

READ MORE: Why Scotland must now launch a Wind Energy Tax

Secondly, and more importantly, the Scottish Government wanted funding to be invested in the wider Scottish economy as a core requirement so, rather than determining bids solely on the basis of who pays the most to their government, they focused on how much each bid would spend on the Scottish supply chain. Failing to do that would have meant that our seabed would just create jobs in China and Europe rather than Scotland. From the very beginning of the bidding process, Bidders had to demonstrate how much they’d invest in Scottish businesses and jobs over the lifetime of the lease as part of the plan to build up Scotland’s infrastructure, manufacturing abilities and resources in this area, all of which are currently lacking. I believe there are penalties in the contracts and consequences for failing to meet that condition.

The overall commitment to invest in the Scottish supply chain is, I understand, about £25bn. So the Scottish economy is getting approximately £25bn of investment on top of the £700m directly in cash. It is a quite different approach and, when one looks at the details, compares very well for the greater Scottish economy to that of the England and Wales bid.

Alasdair Forbes
Farr, Inverness-shire