Time to close loopholes and strengthen windfall tax

Fossil fuels profits are destroying our climate.

It is time for the UK government to close the climate-wrecking loopholes that have been built into the windfall tax and use it to invest in public services, says the Scottish Greens environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP.

This afternoon the Chancellor confirmed that the windfall tax on fossil fuel profits will be extended by a year, but there were no changes to the perverse mechanism that allows oil and gas producers to get 91p in tax relief for every £1 they invest in UK operations

Speaking in this afternoon’s parliamentary debate on Scotland’s oil and gas sector, Mr Ruskell will say: “The fact is that the Energy Profits Levy came with a supertanker sized loophole, a tax relief of up to 91% for investment in more oil and gas, investment that was most likely going to happen anyway. 

“Closing that loophole could bring in billions to solve a cost of living crisis that is destroying ordinary people’s lives.

“The UK government could even have chosen to make those tax reliefs available for renewable investments to create the jobs of the future today, but it chose not to.”

Commenting on the future of North Sea oil, Mr Ruskell will say: “It is an inconvenient truth that North Sea oil and gas is in decline, everyone in this chamber knows it.

“That’s why it was so important for the Scottish Government to move away from supporting Maximum Economic Recovery and to start the conversation about a presumption against new oil and gas development.

In closing, Mr Ruskell will add: “The real traitors will be the ones who understood perfectly well what needed to be done, but wilfully stood by, did nothing and condemned future generations to climate chaos and an unjust transition.”

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