The UK Government moves like lightning to tax the industry when oil prices are high but moves at a snail’s pace when oil prices are low.
In a glaring example of oil tax hypocrisy, George Osborne announced a shale oil fund for the north of England in his Autumn Statement.
This is before a single barrel of oil has been produced, yet, Scotland, with more than 40 billion barrels of oil is still waiting.
Over the last 40 years more than £330,000 million has poured into the Westminster Exchequer, around £60,000 per head for every Scot, yet there is no gratitude whatsoever.
Scotland’s resources have bankrolled successive Tory and Labour Chancellors with any crumb of a concession being presented as if it were a gift.
But the focus should be on what needs to be done instead of sly politicking.
The current SNP government has done a vast amount in support of innovation – for example, through the £10million funding for the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre and an additional £6.5million investment to support skills in the industry.
The Scottish Government also published the Energy Skills Investment Plan and more than 500 apprenticeships for the energy sector have been provided in each year of the current Parliament.
The oil and gas industry is crying out for more action from the UK Government through bolder action on reducing the supplementary charge, urgent action on the proposed new investment allowance and support for exploration.
This call to action from the industry must be answered and I hope that politicians on all sides of the debating chamber can support the Scottish Government in achieving this.
Alex Salmond is an MSP for Aberdeenshire East