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 Andrew Smith Andrew Smith The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 3:49 pm, 30th April 2002

On the North sea oil regime, our aim is, of course, to promote long-term investment in the North sea, while giving a fair return to the British people. So the Bill contains two important measures in relation to the North sea tax regime. First, to raise revenues, clauses 90 to 92 will introduce a supplementary charge at a rate of 10 per cent. on North sea profits; but, secondly, to support new investment, clause 62 will provide 100 per cent. first-year allowances for capital expenditure and investment in the North sea. I am advised that, under the allowance change and even with the supplementary charge, companies that invest in new fields will have higher post-tax rates of return than they would under the current regime. So we are striking the right balance between stimulating investment and getting a fair return to the British people.