Time for a permanent and robust windfall tax on polluters

Polluters must be made to pay for the damage they are doing to our planet.

The windfall tax on oil and gas company profits must be made into a permanent and robust polluter tax to accelerate our just transition to a greener future, say the Scottish Greens.

The party has called for all loopholes and incentives to be removed from the system, which currently includes a perverse mechanism that allows oil and gas producers to get 91p in tax relief for every £1 they invest in UK operations. 

Analysis from the New Economics Foundation has shown that tax reliefs and incentives to oil and gas companies engaged in North Sea extraction could be worth £18.1 billion between 2023-2026, with the Scottish Greens calling for these to be halted.

Speaking ahead of a campaign event in Edinburgh, Lorna Slater said: “The biggest oil and gas companies are raking-in eye watering profits from the destruction of our planet. 

“If our governments are serious about facing up to the crisis around us then we need to end the tax breaks and incentives they are enjoying and deliver a permanent windfall tax that actually works. 

“There can be no ifs or buts or exceptions. It is completely wrong for fossil fuel giants to be offered money back in exchange for drilling. It’s not any kind of polluter tax if it is actively encouraging them to wreck the world around us. 

“By taking action and closing the loopholes that the Tories purposefully built into the system, we can raise billions of pounds and accelerate our journey to a greener future.

“The climate crisis is the biggest issue that the next government will face. We need a whole new approach that is focused on investing in the huge renewable potential that Scotland has been blessed with and securing a rapid and just transition for workers and communities."

The Scottish Greens would halt all new fossil fuel exploration licences in the North Sea and would revoke the licence for the Rosebank field and other major projects approved by the Tories.

Ms Slater added: “Our future is on the line and this election. Green voices are more important than ever. If we want to see climate action then we have to vote for it.

“We are in the last days of a Tory government that has shown a total contempt for our environment. Meanwhile Labour is refusing to revoke a single oil licence and the SNP is trying to face both ways. It is only the Scottish Greens who are committed to taking the bold action that is needed.”

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