Kezia Dugdale today called on the UK Government to “step in and share the risk” by setting up a new agency to rescue platforms from early decommissioning.
Ahead of the Budget, the Scottish Labour leader urged the chancellor to offer “real support” to ensure assets are not lost because of a lack of investment.
She is proposing the creation of a new public agency, UK Offshore Investment Ltd (UK OIL), to identify assets with a long-term viability and profitability for public investment.
Unveiling the idea, Aberdeen-born Ms Dugdale said tax cuts on their own would not be enough.
She added: “This Budget has to see the chancellor invest in the future of Scotland.
“The oil and gas industry, including workers, have been calling for more support for investment.
“Tax cuts will not go far enough – we need real support to ensure that North Sea assets are not lost because there is a lack of support for investment.
“We believe that the UK Government should step in and share the risk when times are tough.”
Dugdale proposed a new body conduct an “open book” review with the Oil and Gas Authority to identify assets with long term viability and profitability and weather the storm caused by 40 dollars-a-barrel oil.
She said her party’s plan would help prevent assets, such as platforms and pipelines, being lost earlier than planned.
Dugdale has proposed a new body called UK Offshore Investment Limited (UK OIL) to conduct an “open book” review with the Oil and Gas Authority to identify assets with long term viability and profitability and weather the
“Our proposal for a new UK OIL agency would help to prevent assets, such as platforms and pipelines, being lost earlier than planned,” she added.
“Once these assets are gone they are gone for good, with all the benefits they bring to Scotland’s economy.
“We have to do all we can to stop that happening and then review investment once the oil price rises again.
“Our economy doesn’t need more austerity and on Wednesday the Chancellor should stop his race to cut to the bone. Because of George Osborne’s policies, the UK has experienced the slowest recovery from a recession in over a hundred years.
“Ordinary working people in Scotland have borne the brunt and our most vulnerable are facing even more cuts from the Tories. We can’t go on with more of the same.”
The Lothian MSP, who was raised in Elgin, said the economy did not need more austerity, demanding George Osborne end his “race to cut to the bone”.
Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Seema Malhotra added: “We need to do all we can to protect jobs and make sure that important assets in the North Sea are protected for the future and not decommissioned early.
“Labour would support investment in the industry to make sure that there is a bright future for the North Sea when oil prices begin to recover.”