SNP: Autumn Statement a Betrayal for Oil, Gas Industry
The SNP (Scottish National Party) has described the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recent autumn statement as a betrayal to the oil and gas sector, claiming it ignored key industry demands that will result in a loss to vital capacity and skills in the supply chain.
With no action in relation to loan guarantees for vital pieces of infrastructure, investment or tax concessions in relation to exploration, we risk losing vital capacity and skills that will support production and ensure we maximize economic recovery from the North Sea, Keith Brown, SNP Cabinet Secretary for Jobs, Economy and Fair Work said.
“This was their chance…to pay back an industry which has put billions into the UK Treasury, which according to the Treasury’s own forecast, will put more billions back into the Treasury, and yet they did nothing,” he added.
Gillian Martin, SNP MSP (member of Scottish parliament) for Aberdeenshire East echoed Brown’s views.
“In…[the] autumn Statement we got no incentives for exploration and development in the North Sea, no loan guarantees and no support for decommissioning. How many oil and gas jobs have to burn before the Tories will finally wake up and take action? I am bitterly disappointed that the Chancellor neglected this vital industry,” Martin said.
“The Treasury has pocketed North Sea revenues for years and the Tories will happily reap the benefits of the extremely positive outlook that is forecast for oil and gas from 2017 onwards, without supporting the industry and its workforce through more challenging times. They should not get away with using the North Sea as a cash cow without returning the favour stimulating exploration and providing the necessary investment, loan guarantees and tax incentives,” she added.
“Oil and gas in the North Sea needs exploration in order to continue to develop, and it needs the UK government to put their money where their mouth is and protect and invest in its future,” Martin continued.
“My priority as Chancellor is to ensure that Britain remains the number one destination for business, creating the investment, the jobs and the prosperity to protect our long-term future,” Hammond said in his autumn statement.
“I know how much business values certainty and stability and so I confirm today that we will stick to the business tax roadmap that we set out in March…We will deliver the commitments we have made to the oil and gas sector,” he added.
The previous Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced significant tax cuts to help “one of the most important and valued industries” in the country in his Budget speech on March 16. The measures included halving the Supplementary Charge on oil and gas from 20 percent to 10 percent, and the effective scrapping of Petroleum Revenue Tax. The ex-Chancellor also revealed that the tax cuts would be backdated to be effective from Jan. 1.
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