Huhne faces oil industry tax anger

Leading figures from the UK's oil and gas industry will tackle the energy minister over tax hikes facing them today (March 31).

Oil & Gas UK, the trade association representing the industry, will take fears that last week’s budget will cripple the UK’s industry directly to Chris Huhne.

The meeting will take place at PILOT, the Government-industry forum which aims to secure the long-term future of the sector in the UK.

Top of the agenda will be the an unexpected increase in tax to a top rate of 81% on production from mature fields.

Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive, Malcolm Webb, said: “The UK oil and gas industry believes the tax change announced in last week’s Budget is ill-informed.

“And was constructed hurriedly and without proper thought of the potential impacts on investment, production and hence energy supply and employment.

“As a result of this new and totally unexpected tax rise, and as we forecast, we have already seen some significant developments being halted.

“The industry stands ready to discuss with the Government ways to materially reduce the immediate negative impact of this tax change and avoid shocks of this nature to long-term, capital intensive projects which are vital to the energy security of this country.”

Luke Walsh

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