The figures—which were published in the Treasury economic progress report for July—are £450 million, £2,560 million and £1,090 million for corporation tax, petroleum revenue tax, and royalties respectively.
Is the Minister aware that many experts believe that the Treasury is seriously under-estimating the likely revenue from North Sea oil over the next two or three years? That is likely to result in a lower, or possibly negative, public sector borrowing requirement. Will the Minister make clear that, if that happens, he will review the public expenditure cuts with a view to reducing them?
The hon. Gentleman is making certain assumptions that we are not disposed to make at present. Naturally, we are concerned with the structure of petroleum revenue tax, but we feel that it is designed to secure a proper share of the profits of North Sea oil for the British people.
Will the Minister of State explain why the figures that are published in the brown book on the effects of North Sea oil revenue are all in 1978–79 prices and therefore understate by more than half the actual benefit that the Government are deriving from North Sea oil? Will he assure the House that the reason for that is that the Government are now throwing £ 4 billion worth of revenue down the drain in financing unemployment that they have created?
I have given the figures for the current year. As the right hon. Gentleman will know, it was not the practice of either his Administration, nor is it of this Administration, to give forecasts for future years.