6 Apr 2015
Scottish Conservative MEP Dr Ian Duncan has travelled to Aberdeen to hear of boosts the oil industry received thanks to the recent UK budget announcements.
As part of the General Election campaign, he spoke with representatives at the city’s Maritime Museum.
In last month’s budget, George Osborne delivered a £1.3 billion support package for the North Sea.
That included a reduction in petroleum revenue tax from 50 per cent to 35 per cent, and a drop in oil’s supplementary tax from 30 per cent to 20 per cent.
Creating an “electricity free trade zone” in the North Sea is also one of Dr Duncan’s priorities in the European Parliament.
That involves energy being generated in the best geographical location and transmitted freely to where demand is greatest.
Scottish Conservative MEP Dr Ian Duncan said:
“The tax breaks and support which George Osborne delivered are exactly what the oil and gas industry need to safeguard jobs and investment.
“That is what you get when you vote Scottish Conservative – jobs and growth as part of a long-term economic plan.
“Nicola Sturgeon has said she would vote Green if she lived in England. The Green party would stop every pump, every drill today and not look back.
“We must not let the North Sea be held to ransom by the SNP.”
On creating an electricity free trade zone, Dr Duncan added:
“Energy is one area where a Europe-wide market makes sense.
“In Britain we have huge energy resources but difficulty delivering it to our European neighbours.
“Scotland has significant scope for renewable energy, but importantly it has huge resources of offshore and onshore gas to generate electricity.
“Without interconnectors, essentially large cables, both consumers and our energy producers are at a disadvantage.
“We end up relying on Russian gas and we all know the problems which come with that.
“At present the only region of Europe ‘shovel ready’ in terms of delivering an energy union is the North Sea.
“A North Sea grid, able to connect the renewable and conventional energy generation of Scotland directly into the European mainland, will be a vital step forward in attaining energy security for the whole continent.
“I have demanded that the European Commission makes the grid a priority and brings jobs to the north east.”