Chancellor George Osborne has given the oil and gas industry a tax boost in today’s Autumn Statement.
In a speech devoid of much energy content, Mr Osborne announced a 2% cut in tax from the new year to encourage investment and boost production in the North Sea.
The so called “Supplementary Charge reduction” which falls to 30% will apply across the whole industry. He also ring fenced future expenditure for offshore oil and gas activities for a further four years, from six years to 10.
The Chancellor said of the cut, ” this demonstrates our commitment to the tens of thousands of jobs that depend on this great British industry.”
However green groups weren’t convinced. A spokesperson from Friends of the Earth said: “The Chancellor has cut tax for dirty gas and oil despite overwhelming scientific evidence of the need to end our fossil fuel dependency.”
The Chancellor confirmed he will provide £5 million in funding for a new regulatory body for oil and gas. The details of which will be confirmed tomorrow. The UK oil and gas industry is worth around £35bn to the economy.