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Pre-Budget Report

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 3:29 pm on 24th November 2008.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:29 pm, 24th November 2008

I understand people's concerns, particularly with the oil price coming down. Although that has many welcome effects, it obviously has an effect on the outlook in the North sea. As the hon. Gentleman knows, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I met leaders of the oil industry in Banchory earlier this year. We agreed to work together. We are publishing further proposals today to allow us to develop such things further.

One of the things that the industry told us is that it wants to work closely with us, because there is probably a coalition of interests: both of us want to ensure that we extract everything that we possibly can from the North sea. We said that we would work closely with the industry to ensure that the tax regime helps that process. I am glad to say that I believe that we are working well together, and I hope that things will come to a satisfactory conclusion as soon as possible.

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