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Oil and Gas Jobs Report Underlines Case for More Reform
Tory tinkering hasn’t done enough to boost sector.
A new report from Skills Development Scotland underlines the need for the UK government to deliver “further and faster” reform on oil and gas.
A more stable global oil price has seen people returning to work in the energy sector, however the report highlights the risk of further job losses over the longer term.
Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin, who sits on Holyrood’s economy committee, has said the warnings emphasise the need for the UK government to go further on oil and gas – to stimulate fresh investment and exploration in the North Sea and maximise employment.
The North-East MSP has reiterated the outstanding SNP demands on oil and gas on which the Chancellor failed to deliver in his Autumn Budget.
The SNP is calling on the UK government to take urgent action on:
Incentives for new exploration and development in the North Sea
Loan guarantees for critical infrastructure – as promised in the 2016 budget
Future-proofing of energy jobs with incentives for firms to diversify into renewables
Action to unlock ‘small pool’ accumulations through technology and cost reduction
Investment to ensure Scottish ports are best placed to win decommissioning contracts
Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said:
“While things are picking up in the industry, and people are getting back into work, this report underlines the fact that there can be no room for complacency.
“The Scottish Government has done all within its powers over recent years to protect jobs and support the economy of the North East of Scotland through turbulent times.
“But the fact of the matter is this: almost all of the levers to incentivise growth and ensure a healthy future for the oil and gas industry remain in the hands of a Tory government at Westminster.
“And they’ve proved themselves slow and stubborn in implementing much needed reforms – they need to go further, and they need to move faster.
“What we got in the Autumn Budget on transferable tax credits for mature fields was welcome insofar as it went. But those measures were long overdue and just a small piece of the jigsaw.
“We need action now from Westminster to boost exploration and develop new prospects.
“We need action now to future-proof the industry against another downturn, with more companies encouraged to diversify into renewables.
“We need the promises of previous Tory budgets on loan guarantees for critical infrastructure delivered.
“And we need investment in infrastructure to ensure Scottish ports have the cutting edge when it comes to winning contracts for decommissioning.
“The roots of a very healthy recovery in our industry need nourished right now to ensure we get the greatest benefit from the North Sea, and safeguard jobs, for many years to come.”
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