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Smith presses PM on future North Sea investment

January 23, 2014 10:56 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Sir Robert Smith has called on the PrimeSir Robert SmithSir Robert Smith Minister to recommit the Government to a stable tax regime for North Sea oil and gas.

Speaking at Prime Ministers Questions, Sir Robert highlighted the record levels of investment that North Sea oil and gas is currently receiving and the positive impact this has on jobs in the sector.

However, he also warned the Prime Minister that without a stable tax regime future investment could be at risk due to a lack of exploration.

Sir Robert said:

"Whilst we can currently celebrate record levels of investment in North Sea oil and gas production and all the jobs that it supports, we do have to recognise there is growing concern at the lack of exploration. Will the Prime Minister therefore recommit the Government to its tax stability policy and encourage as much exploration as possible to ensure future investment."

The Prime Minister told him:

"I can certainly give my honourable friend that assurance. It's very important that we make the most out of the asset that is the North Sea, that is what the Wood Report is all about and we are putting those proposals in place and know that my Right Honourable friend the Chancellor will listen very carefully to what he says about making sure that the tax system for the long-term encourages the maximum recovery."

Sir Robert later said: "Investment in North Sea oil and gas is best encouraged by a stable tax regime and a constructive regulatory environment. Although we have cause to celebrate current investment levels, it is important that the Government builds on Sir Ian Wood's recommendation and encourages future activity."