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In collaboration with stakeholders in the industry, we are analysing the fiscal changes that the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the budget and assessing what impact the reforms will have on future investment and production—and, in turn, on tax revenues. When that analysis is complete, we will publish an updated “Oil and Gas Analytical Bulletin”.
For the simple reason that was in the answer that I just gave Mr Brown: there have been significant changes in the tax arrangements for the North Sea, and the Government is considering them in consultation with stakeholders to determine their effect. I would be the first to accept that the chancellor made significant changes in the March budget and it will take time to assess their effect, given their significance and what we hope will be their beneficial effect on the North Sea regime, which we will discuss with stakeholders. As I said, when the material is complete, we will publish an updated bulletin.
I think that many companies in the oil industry have already assessed the impact of the changes that were made in the budget. However, it is a year since we had the last oil and gas bulletin and it is two months since the budget. Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister has made her own commitment to publish the bulletin, so when will we see the revised bulletin?
The updated bulletin will be published when the Government has completed the analytical work that we are undertaking. I made the point to Mr Brown that we have to acknowledge the significance of the changes that the UK Government made. Jackie Baillie says that companies have analysed the impact of the changes; many companies that we are talking to are considering their investment plans as a consequence of the changes to the regime. We need to undertake that analytical work properly to ensure that we can provide Parliament with a clear and substantiated analysis, which will be published when the work is complete.