Monday, 20 August 2018 05:11

SNP CALL ON CHANCELLOR TO RULE OUT NORTH SEA TAX HIKE HIT

The SNP’s Westminster Economy spokesperson has written to Chancellor Philip Hammond demanding reassurances that the UK government will not use the upcoming Autumn Budget to undermine the North Sea’s recovery with tax rises.

Kirsty Blackman MP warned the Treasury against using Scotland as a “cash-cow”, and that any hike in taxes just as the industry is strengthening “would risk the sector’s ability to invest and extract the North Sea’s full potential upon which so many jobs and our wider economy depend.”


The North Sea reported that production efficiency rose for the fifth consecutive year, reaching 74% in 2017, with the industry reporting a stronger and sustained performance over the past two years.


It follows reports in the Financial Times where a Treasury spokesperson stated that the UK government was reviewing taxation and recognised “fiscal reform” as a means of reducing overall revenues from the oil industry, as well as adding that the North Sea “continues to deliver significant economic benefits to the UK”.


Commenting, Kirsty Blackman MP said:


“Despite the UK government’s abject failure to support production during its recent time of need, the oil industry in the North Sea has been on the road to recovery and is rebounding with production efficiency rising for the fifth consecutive year.


“However, firms are still finding conditions tough and, as such, it is imperative that the UK government exercises its reserved powers to do more to stimulate exploration and attract fresh investment.


“Using Scotland once again as a cash-cow, just as it is strengthening, risks the sector’s ability to invest and extract the North Sea’s full potential upon which so many jobs and our wider economy depend.


“That is why it is vital that the Chancellor provides urgent reassurances that the UK government will not seek to use the Autumn Budget to undermine the North Sea’s recovery with tax rises.


“I look forward to the Chancellor's response and hope that the UK government will not go down the road once again of jeopardising Scotland's vital oil and gas sector with ill-thought through tax hikes and further mismanagement."


North Sea production recovery fuels fears of tax blow in Budget: https://www.ft.com/content/231b1da8-a21a-11e8-85da-eeb7a9ce36e4


Letter from SNP MP Kirsty Blackman to Chancellor Philip Hammond is available upon request.

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