The SNP must recognise there is an oil jobs crisis in Scotland as the price of oil fell to a new 10-year low, trading below $35 a barrel, Labour said yesterday.

During a debate in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, SNP MSP Dennis Robertson, who represents Aberdeenshire West, said there was ‘no crisis’ in the oil industry, and instead said the industry was ‘booming.’

It is estimated that more than 65,000 jobs had been lost since the price of oil began to sharply drop last year.

Scottish Labour Public Services spokesperson and North East MSP Lewis Macdonald said:

“Dennis Robertson’s comments about the oil industry were remarkably ill-judged. Thousands of jobs have been lost, not just in Mr Robertson’s own constituency but right across the North East and the whole of Scotland.

Today the price of oil fell to a new 10-year low, showing again that these comments from the SNP were an absolute fantasy.

The SNP have to recognise that this is a real jobs crisis in Scotland, with Oil and Gas UK warning that more job losses are to come. Dennis Robertson’s comments were thoughtless and unhelpful to workers and their families affected.

The SNP Government in Edinburgh have lived in complete denial about the oil jobs crisis because it was politically embarrassing to them.

Even after the slump began, Nicola Sturgeon was reassuring people that the price could return to $100 a barrel before now.

They ignored job losses for months and now North East SNP MSPs are denying there is a jobs crisis.

We need a proper response to the oil jobs crisis. That means assessing the impact of the oil price on the wider Scottish economy and a commitment to publishing regular oil and gas bulletins with a specific focus on the impact of oil prices on jobs right through the industry.”