Corporation tax treatment of the oil and gas industry

Part of Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 5th September 2016.

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Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 8:00 pm, 5th September 2016

I think there has been some misunderstanding about exactly what the patent box was designed to do. It was not designed solely to promote research and development, as many similar incentives that come through, year on year, in Budgets are designed to do. It was very much an attempt to incentivise companies at the second stage—in other words, companies that already had some intellectual property that was difficult to quantify—as opposed to directly at the research and development side. I think it is slightly unfair to suggest that there is no evidence that that has worked, and I think that the patent box is being looked at in a different light to that which was intended by those who put it into play.