Budget Resolutions - Income Tax (Charge)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:07 pm on 31st October 2018.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 2:07 pm, 31st October 2018

I shall let Members in, but I want to make some progress.

We need, and will need, oil and gas for our future heat while we transition to low and zero-carbon fuels, but meeting the Paris climate change targets means real investment in the technology to manage that switch. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that carbon capture and storage is a vital component to achieve targets that are so important to us all.

The Secretary of State said earlier that he would not let the lead on technology slip, but where was that when the carbon capture and storage programme at Peterhead was abandoned? We had the opportunity to become world leaders, to demonstrate technological advancement and, crucially, to get a head start in the transition and to have marketable expertise and technology to export. Instead, three years ago, a £1 billion rug was pulled from underneath the industry, its companies and the people of Scotland. It was nothing short of betrayal.

Now the UK Government are back talking up carbon capture and storage, three years later. However, they say that they can catch up with only 10% of the original budget—which, incidentally, is the same amount that they squandered on the preparation work for Peterhead. You could not make this up. It is nothing more than lip service. With a will, however, the Government could sort this. There are still opportunities, including at Grangemouth, but the longer the wait, the more difficult and expensive it becomes, especially to man-made climate change. The Government must now fess up, about turn and push the pedal to the floor, properly fund the technology and at long last live up to the Paris commitments.