Corporation tax treatment of the oil and gas industry

Part of Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:18 pm on 5th September 2016.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords) 7:18 pm, 5th September 2016

I appreciate that point. I was not aware of the numbers. However, from talking to colleagues across the House who have been very supportive of companies and industries in their constituencies, it is clear that the number of companies is substantial. We are discussing UK spend and, whether we like it or not, we are part of the UK, and the tax changes will help all the companies in the oil and gas industry throughout the UK, whether they are in Aberdeen, Wales or the south of England.

The Oil and Gas Authority has been very good at talking positively about UK supply chain spend, which is one of the most vital aspects. Although I have talked about energy demand and oil and gas demand out to 2040, we will see, at some point, a reduction in the amount of oil and gas being produced by the UK. It is key to note that we are world leaders in terms of our oil and gas expertise. We are very good at what we do, and we are respected across the world. In sub-sea technology, for example, we are 20 years ahead of America. America has not done very much when it comes to Gulf of Mexico extraction. We will be there teaching the Americans how to use sub-sea technology and exporting that technology to them. Even when the oil and gas in the UK eventually run out, we will see that our expertise is able to be exported. It is really important that the Government act now to ensure that we keep that expertise base and do not lose it in the current downturn.