Orders of the Day — Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:21 pm on 30th April 2002.

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Photo of Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Bruce Liberal Democrat, Gordon 8:21 pm, 30th April 2002

My hon. Friend will know that, as his neighbour, I share his concerns about the implications of the proposed tax changes. He will know that, on the day before the Budget, members of the all-party group on the UK offshore oil and gas industry met the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association, which clearly had not the slightest indication that the Government had such proposals in mind. Those of us who have contacted members of that organisation since then know how shocked they are that the Government, having apparently developed a constructive relationship over five years, blew it out of the window without any notice. That has inflicted incalculable damage on confidence and investment in the North sea, and may be extremely damaging to the British economy.