North Sea tax receipts slump to £35m Tax receipts from offshore oil and gas slumped to just £35m in the last financial year, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs. The figure is the lowest recorded since the early days of North Sea production. Corporation tax from offshore drilling raised £538m but that was offset by rebates on Petroleum Revenue Tax, totalling £503m. The latest figure compares with £2bn of tax revenue in the 2014-15 financial year. Four years ago, the Treasury raised £11bn from the two sources of tax on offshore production profits. Much of last year's fall reflects lower profits from oil and gas, after the oil price slumped, as well as tax deductions for a high level of investment. Tax rates were cut by Chancellor George Osborne during the most recent recorded year. The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast negative tax returns for the next few years. Industry 'struggle' Responding to the tax figures, industry body Oil and Gas UK's economics director, Mike Tholen, said: "At around $40 per barrel, oil is still more than 60% lower than it has been over the last three years. "In these conditions, the UK North Sea industry will continue to struggle to sustain its current scale. "More than £330bn in 2014 money has been paid to date on UK oil and gas production, however, HM Treasury has noted that tax take on production will fall in 2015-16 and fall further by 2021. "Despite the projected fall in production taxes which is a consequence of the current low oil prices, industry will remain a significant employer, provider of energy security, hub of innovation and leader in the export of goods and services to overseas markets." He added: "Although the sector has seen success recently in reducing its cost to produce a barrel of oil or gas by a third, unfortunately the indications suggest that the oil price will remain lower for longer, so it's crucial the pace of these efforts doesn't abate." 'Wake-up call' Conservation charity WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "The problems currently affecting tax receipts and jobs in the North Sea should act as a wake-up call to government of the urgent need to prepare for a future where we are all less dependent on oil and gas. "While it's true that the oil and gas industry will continue to be a major contributor to our economy for some time, now is the time to be setting out a clear plan to sensibly transition away from dirty fossil fuels. "We need to see a just transition that enables us to harness the engineering skills currently deployed in the North Sea and apply them to supporting a range of cleaner forms of energy production."

Published in Scottish Politics

So, there will be a vote his week on whether the UK will join their allies and bomb Syria.

The USA have been doing this for over a year, and even though they have the best in weapon technologies they have somehow not managed to make any difference - well, apart from allowing their weapons to be air dropped, into the hands of the alleged enemy.

I understand why France are taking action, but surely the UK has a choice?

Why on earth would the UK Government decide to join 65 countries and bomb a country that is already on fire, when it is seems to be quite clear that bombing is making no difference what-so-ever?

Then we have Turkey, and which side are they on? It is alleged that Turkey are allowing the illegal sale of oil through their country, from the Daesh captured oil fields. It is alleged that they are allowing these people to come back and forward to Syria. It is also alleged that they shot down the Russian place for their own political reasons.

I wish the media, the government ministers etc. etc.. would stop calling them IS, ISIL etc.. The lady on Question Time the other week got it right, "If I call myself a zebra", does that mean I am a zebra"? Perhaps this name calling is mass media manipulation on the people so we are manipulated to believe that we should be against all people of similar origin, we will consent to closing our borders, and we will consent to being spied on etc etc.. But who will be spying on those, who spy on us? 

Anyway, back to the point I am trying to make, it seems to me, that this is all about oil and gas, otherwise, the 65 existing countries bombing Syria would have succeeded by now.

Taken from

Perhaps the most accurate description of the current crisis over gas, oil and pipelines that is raging in Syria has been described by Dmitry Minin, writing for the Strategic Cultural Foundation in May 2013:

“A battle is raging over whether pipelines will go toward Europe from east to west, from Iran and Iraq to the Mediterranean coast of Syria, or take a more northbound route from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Syria and Turkey. Having realized that the stalled Nabucco pipeline, and indeed the entire Southern Corridor, are backed up only by Azerbaijan’s reserves and can never equal Russian supplies to Europe or thwart the construction of the South Stream, the West is in a hurry to replace them with resources from the Persian Gulf. Syria ends up being a key link in this chain, and it leans in favor of Iran and Russia; thus it was decided in the Western capitals that its regime needs to change.

The Guardian reported in August 2013:

“Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar and Turkey that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.’”

What we should be asking is, what will our UK Government be getting for going into another illegal war in Syria? When will we, the people get to decide?


Published in Scottish Politics
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