SNP massage renewables job figures

 The Scottish Government has admitted exaggerating in parliament the number of Scottish jobs supported by the renewable energy sector. First Minister Alex Salmond told Holyrood on October 25 that there were 18,000 jobs created by industries such as windfarms. However, that has been refuted by Scottish Renewables, which has consistently said only 11,000 jobs are supported. The SNP has now confirmed this is the case after newspaper reports today forced it to admit Alex Salmond’s 18,000 claim – made in an answer at First Minister’s Questions following a question by Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith – was inaccurate. It is the second time in a week that the Scottish Government has confessed giving inaccurate answers to parliament, and adds to what is an emerging trend of retractions following boastful statements. Scottish Conservative Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith said: “This was clearly a misleading answer by the First Minister, who overestimated the number of jobs created by renewables considerably. “It’s not the first time this month Alex Salmond has given inaccurate figures to Holyrood, and this has to stop. “We know the SNP is obsessed with wind energy, but over-egging the benefits in such a spectacular way is not how to win the argument. “He must now explain why he did this – is he just going to blame an inaccurate briefing again, or that he gave the figure in good faith? “He may be struggling to understand complex college budget figures, but what is his excuse for getting it so spectacularly wrong when it comes to his pet subject?” ENDS                            Notes to editors: Below is the link where Alex Salmond stated 18,000 jobs were supported by the renewables sector:www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=7460 However, a Scottish Government spokesman told the Press and Journal today: “The first minister has corrected the parliament’s official report to make it clear there are 11,000 jobs supported by Scotland’s renewable energy sector.”