Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to deliver a “good” tax regime for the North Sea oil and gas industry.
The Conservative leader said he saw for himself how “vital” the sector was while on recent visits to Aberdeen. He made the remarks after the impact of the UK Government’s surprise £10billion tax raid on producers almost a year ago was again raised at Westminster.
Labour MP for North Tyneside Mary Glindon claimed at prime minister’s questions in parliament that the tax rise was putting 1,500 jobs “at risk” at the OGN Group’s fabrication yard in her constituency.
“Can I ask the prime minister not to be complacent about north-east jobs, but to incentivise offshore development and guarantee tax relief on platform decommissioning in the Budget?” she added. Mr Cameron said: “I think the honourable lady raises an extremely important point.
“I saw for myself when I went to Aberdeen how vital the industry is, and indeed how much investment is taking place in the North Sea.
“Let me just remind her though that the reason we put up the tax on North Sea was actually to cut petrol duty for families up and down the country.
“But we will make sure there is a good tax regime for the North Sea, whether that is servicing jobs in England or indeed in Scotland.”
Mr Cameron was in Aberdeen last October when BP sealed a £4.5billion deal to further develop the Clair field, west of Shetland.
The UK Government is under pressure to deliver tax breaks for the offshore industry in next month’s Budget.