Sunday, 3 April 2011

SNP Comments On £50bn Risk To Oil Investment From Tory/LibDem Tax Threat


Commenting on the revelations from Oil and Gas UK that up to £50 billion of investment in oil and gas projects in the North Sea is at risk because of the Tory/LibDem UK government’s tax changes Scotland’s First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond said:

“Successive Westminster governments – Labour and Tory – have treated Scotland’s oil wealth in an incompetent and shabby fashion.

“The Tory Chancellor’s ill-thought through tax changes run the risk of diverting vital investment away from the North Sea, threatening jobs, and only now are we discovering that this could run into tens of billions of pounds.

“It really does add insult to injury to discover that the LibDem Chief Secretary to the Treasury was boasting to the City of London that this mess was his idea.

"There is nothing wrong with making taxation responsive to profitability and high oil prices, but it has to be done in a planned fashion with appropriate incentives for marginal fields and infrastructure development. That is what must be done.

“The Treasury's only interest was mounting a smash and grab raid on Scotland’s resources to bankroll Westminster.

“It’s also incredibly hypocritical of Labour to now complain about these changes when they failed to support SNP moves in Westminster to vote down these damaging tax changes last week.

“Next month’s Scottish Parliament election is an opportunity for Scotland to get a better deal – and claim our right to a fair share of our own resources. With Labour’s duplicitous stance on this issue the SNP is left as the only party offering a positive vision for Scotland’s oil and gas sector.

"In the coming year, oil and gas revenues are due to be an all-time record of £13.4 billion – nearly £2,700 for every man, woman and child in Scotland - £4 billion more than the Chancellor had planned for."

Banffshire and Buchan Coast SNP Candidate Stewart Stevenson added:

"The imposition of this unexpected tax hike is moving too many projects in the Scottish sector into unprofitability and costing the North-East real jobs. It is time for the London parties to put Scotland's interests first and scrap this proposal."

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