In yesterday’s edition of Energy Voice, readers are reminded that David Cameron had pledged to help the industry in 2016 by appointing an ‘Oil and Gas Ambassador’ who would:
‘ensure the best possible access for UK companies to markets overseas, promote the sector around the world and boost inward investment.’
19 months later, not only has the post not been filled, the current Energy Minister, Richard Harrison, has never heard of it. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at the usual mix of incompetence and duplicity from the Tories.
We know now, of course, that had they taxed the industry properly, they could have use those funds to invest in development.
The SNP, of course, have published a plan in their May 2017 manifesto. There is a section on oil and gas which, according to energy Voice again, accuses the Tories of:
merely planning for a “managed decline” of the oil and gas sector;
failing to provide “adequate support for the industry and families which depend on it.
Instead, the SNP demand that the UK government: ‘deliver a strong deal including targeted incentives to develop small pool discoveries, further support to stimulate exploration activity and loan guarantees for critical infrastructure.’
The imminent boom in oil price, by 2020 at the latest, may make this seem less important but it still reminds us of what the Tories can and will do for Scotland – as little as possible.