So, according to STV News, Scottish oil and gas is worth £17.5 Billion as production rises - http://archive.is/TFz19
They go on to say that, "despite production hitting it's highlest level in six years, tax revenues fell to - £312m - the worst year on record", note the blue colour of text - I've used the same colour of font as STV have used, to emphasise how bad this is, but for a different reason to our friends at STV News.
In my opinion, what is bad, is the fact that they fail to mention why tax revenues fell.
They then go on to say, "Oil and gas production in Scotland plunged from 179 million tonnes in the 1998/99 financial year to 59.8 million in 2014/15.It has since risen by about 14.9 million tonnes a year, according to figures published by the Scottish Government on Wednesday. Petroleum tax revenues fell to from -£562m to -£650m in 2016/17, while corporation tax more than halved from £713m to £338m, HMRC reported" - sigh.
So, let's look at this.....
Acccording to the website, Tax Injustice:
- In 2014, UK consumers paid 6 times more tax on petrol, excluding VAT, than the North Sea oil and gas industry paid on all taxes related to production.
- Chevron’s effective tax rate in 2014 on earnings from North Sea production was 5.4%; statutory tax rates (of various types) on oil and gas should have totalled 61-82%.
- In 2014, 3 (Shell, BP & Total) of the top 4 North Sea producers produced more than £4.3 billion worth of oil and gas and received over £300 million in net tax refunds.
Here is the article link - https://www.taxjustice.net/2016/08/25/uks-north-sea-oil-revenues-giving-away/
And that was just for 2014.
According to Business for Scotland:
- Norway generated more than £17 thousand million from oil and gas in 2015 but the UK Government only generated £222 million.
They go on to say, "The Unionist mantra is that the fall in oil price has caused Scotland to have a greater deficit than the UK, and this makes sense until you start to realise that oil revenues didn’t fall by the same amount everywhere else in the world. It’s true the oil price slumped by around 55 per cent but Business for Scotland noticed UK Government revenues fell by 99 per cent, even though oil production rose by around 16 per cent during the same period. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something other than the price of oil, is impacting Scotland’s national accounts."
Another interesting paragraph is this one, "Looking at how the tax breaks apply to Shell and BP: in the 24 countries where Shell extracts oil and gas, all except the UK made Shell pay taxes. While the UK gave Shell £80m in tax rebates, Shell paid Norway £2.7bn. So, Norway generated 62 times more tax from one company than Westminster generated from the entire UK industry last year reported. Given that Shell alone cut up to 13,000 jobs and paid no corporation tax in the UK in 2015, it might surprise people that Shell paid £7.9 billion in shareholder dividends for that year, and in 2016 Shell paid out bumper £11.1 billion in dividends to its shareholders, more than any other company in the world."
Here is the link to the article - http://www.businessforscotland.com/norway-still-getting-much-tax-oil/
I bet you cannot wait to see what happened in 2016. Neither can I.........