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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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MP Calls for Treasury to Take Urgent Action to Protect North Sea Jobs

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

SNP MP for Banff & Buchan, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, has called on the UK Government to take urgent action on tax in order to protect North Sea jobs, in a debate held in Westminster this week.

With a falling oil price, a number of announcements of job losses have been made by oil operators, including the announcement by Talisman Sinopec this week that they would shed up to 300 jobs. Last week, the Scottish Government launched an Energy Jobs Taskforce to combat job losses.

In a debate at Westminster, Dr. Whiteford called for the UK Treasury to immediately act on the tax regime for North Sea oil and gas companies to encourage investment. Speaking after the debate, Dr. Whiteford commented:

“Reform to the oil and gas fiscal regime must not wait until the budget, but must be implemented now and this should include a commitment from the UK Government to a substantial reduction in the Supplementary Charge rate, which they introduced in 2011 to disastrous effect. In addition, faster progress is also required on the establishment of the Oil and Gas Authority.

“The North Sea has suffered from an unstable and unpredictable fiscal regime for decades and companies now need urgent action in order to avoid the premature decommissioning of assets and the loss of highly skilled workers.

“Successive Westminster governments have been quick to squeeze the industry at any opportunity, but when support is needed they are far slower off the mark.

"A strong team of SNP MPs after the General Election will ensure that the needs of the sector cannot be put on the back burner, and that Westminster takes the action that is needed to protect jobs in the sector.”

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