ACT NOW ON NORTH SEA OIL.

ACT NOW ON NORTH SEA OIL.

The SNP is today calling on the UK Government to bring forward immediate support for the North Sea oil industry – after Sir Ian Wood warned that 6bn barrels of oil reserves could be abandoned without reform of the tax regime for offshore drilling.

The Scottish Government has proposed three key measures to support the industry – an investment allowance to provide support for fields that incur higher costs to develop, an immediate reversal of the increase in the Supplementary Charge implemented by the UK Government in 2011 and the introduction of an exploration tax credit to help increase levels of exploration and sustain future production.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside Mark McDonald said:
“These comments from Sir Ian Wood are yet further evidence of the need for immediate action from the UK Government.  As we know only too well decisions about jobs and investment are being made right now and industry leaders need certainty from the Treasury to safeguard jobs in our oil and gas industry.
“The SNP has put forward clear proposals to reverse the 2011 increase in the supplementary charge, introduce an investment allowance and create an exploration tax credit that would protect thousands of jobs in the industry.
“Oil and gas industry leaders have repeatedly said that simplification of the tax regime is needed and an immediate cut to the supplementary charge is required to help the industry stabilise and grow again – a call backed and reiterated by the Scottish Government – the fact that there has been no offering from the UK government on this remains deeply disappointing.
“The sensible measures proposed by the Scottish Government have would help support the jobs of thousands of workers. Further Westminster delay and inaction would be completely unacceptable – it’s time for them to step up to the plate and give our oil industry and hard-working staff the support they deserve.
“A strong team of SNP MPs elected in May and holding the balance of power at Westminster will always speak up for the interests of the North Sea – and will ensure that the industry always gets the support it needs.”