Speaking in the Budget debate in the House of Commons Angus MP Mike Weir welcomed measures that would give assistance to the North Sea Oil and Gas industry but there were many missed opportunities to give a real boost to the local economy.
“The changes in taxation for North Sea Oil and Gas are welcome. The reduction in the supplementary charge, however, merely takes us back to the position before 2011, when the decision to increase it, without any consultation with the industry, was hugely damaging.”
“On a more positive note the Bank of Scotland Oil Report last week showed that 90% of firms were optimistic about the future and many of them were looking to diversify into renewables. The government have missed an opportunity to take more action, such as changes in CFDs, that could have boosted the offshore wind industry and create more local sustainable jobs for the future.”
Mr Weir added that many of the other items in the budget would have a detrimental effect or have no benefit for ordinary people in Angus.
“Unfortunately the real message of the Budget is that massive cuts are coming our way, which will have a terrible impact upon many of our local communities and businesses. The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has described the coming years as a roller coaster for public expenditure and that it will return the level of Government expenditure to the level of 1964.”
“The only specific point in the Budget on housing was the new ISA to help get younger people on the housing ladder. This is good news for those who can afford to put money into an ISA, and I am sure that well off parents around the country will be preparing to open such accounts for their children, but it is just another variation on the Bank of Mum and Dad and does nothing to help the many young people who can only dream of renting their own home, let alone owning one.”