Am Aberdeen MP has called on the UK government to reduce North Sea oil and gas taxation.
Callum McCaig, the SNP’s energy spokesperson, urged David Cameron to make the move at Prime Minister’s Questions.
The Aberdeen South MP told the Prime Minister oil and gas had contributed more than £3 billion to the “treasury coffers” with the Scottish Government, trade unions and Oil and Gas UK all calling for reductions to taxation.
Responding to Mr McCaig in the Commons, Mr Cameron said: “First of all in the budget last year we reduced the burden of tax on oil and gas, something we were able to do because of the broad shoulders of the UK.
“And now then let us just examine what has happened since that time, oil and gas revenues are down 94%.
“If there weren’t the broad shoulders of the UK government, if instead this was a genuinely fiscally independent Scotland, there would be a massive black hole in your budget.”
Speaking after PMQs, Mr McCaig said: “The Prime Minister’s response was deeply disappointing.
“With less than three weeks to go until the budget, it is vital that the Chancellor listens to the Scottish Government, Oil and Gas UK, trade unions and other industry experts, and makes the overdue decision to reduce the North Sea tax burden.
“Drastic action is needed from the UK government now to maximise recovery for the North Sea.
“Successive UK governments since the 1970s have mishandled the huge income generated from Scotland’s oil and gas sector – at a difficult time for the industry it is imperative that the government now takes action to secure its future.”
A UK Government spokesman said they are “100%” behind the oil and gas industry and the thousands of workers and families it supports.
He added: “We have established the Oil and Gas Authority to drive greater collaboration and productivity within industry, and announced a radical £1.3bn package of tax measures in the March 2015 Budget to ensure the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) remains an attractive destination for investment and safeguard the future of this vital national asset.”