Time Scotland benefited from oil resources

Commenting on the publication of a report by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee on the security and independence of the UK’s energy supply, SNP Westminster Energy spokesperson Mike Weir MP seized on criticisms by the committee of the way in which the £2 billion levy on North Sea producers was announced in Budget 2011 may have undermined investor confidence in the sector.

Mr Weir said:

"The committee are correct in their criticism of the Treasury’s decision to hike tax on the North Sea oil and gas sector which undermines investment and job creation in this vital industry.

“There is widespread opposition to the way the UK Government is treating the North Sea industry, and instead of simply regarding Scottish oil as a cash cow, the Tory-Lib Dem Government must realise how important our offshore industry is for jobs across Scotland and for the economy of the north east in particular.

“Last week the Prime Minister came to Scotland to hail the potential in the new oil and gas fields off the western approaches, but the UK government is hindering these developments and holding Scotland’s energy sector back.

“The UK Treasury has banked over £13 billion from Scotland’s oil and gas in the course of this year but refused even a tenth of that in return to secure the future of the clean coal industry in Scotland.

“After 40 years of oil and gas Westminster had coined in some £300 billion from Scottish water – around £60,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. The Tories’ own Office of Budget Responsibility figures suggest another £230 billion of oil revenues over the next 30 years - and that was before the latest announcements.

"All of this underlines yet again why Scotland must have the powers of a normal nation to invest in our economic priorities to secure jobs and the long term future of our core industries instead of watching them being squandered.”