SHADOW chancellor Ed Balls has called for immediate tax breaks to help the North Sea oil industry.
“The plummeting global oil price has given some respite to motorists and has been good for the UK economy overall, but there is no doubt that it has also had a negative impact here in the North East of Scotland,” he said.
“Hundreds of jobs have already been lost, with thousands more at risk.”
It echoes calls from Oil and Gas UK which last week told City A.M. that the current tax regime is unaffordable given the subdued state of oil prices.
Chancellor George Osborne recently said that he would look at ways to boost the oil and gas industry in the next budget.
Oil and gas firms have already received some tax breaks in December’s Autumn Statement.
“The oil industry is vital to the Scottish economy and nobody can doubt it needs support,” Balls said, writing in the Press and Journal today. It comes ahead of a visit to Aberdeen with Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy and Scottish Labour MPs Cathy Jamieson and Tom Greatrex.