Hammond tax plan ‘could undermine North Sea recovery’
Philip Hammond: reviewing taxes
Chancellor Philip Hammond is being warned that he could undermine the North Sea’s recovery if he imposes tax rises on the industry.
Mr Hammond is said to be reviewing taxation of the oil and gas industry ahead of the Budget at the end of the year.
SNP MP Kirsty Blackman has cautioned against any hike in taxes just as the industry is rebuilding, saying it “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.
Ms Blackman said: “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.”.