Orders of the Day — Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:49 pm on 30th April 2002.

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Photo of Robert Smith Robert Smith Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons) 3:49 pm, 30th April 2002

Will the Chief Secretary reconsider the Bill as it affects the North sea oil and gas industry and explain how those measures will bring stability? The Government have used that sector as an exemplar of how industry and the Government can work together, yet people in the industry are now in a state of shock and despair given that all the Government's understanding of them seems to have been swept away. The costs of operating in the North sea are so much higher than in other fields and the fields are so much smaller and therefore the returns are much more risky, so it seems a strange time to put up tax when other regimes have been lowering their taxes on the North sea.