The UK Government White Paper on Scotland’s energy future states that the UK is providing substantial help to industry to maximise output and revenues from the North Sea oil and gas as the challenges of extraction are increasing.
And, in the process, supporting the 225,000 Scottish jobs that directly rely on the oil and gas industry.
Presenting the paper in Edinburgh, UK Energy Minister Ed Davey added: “We are also investing heavily in decommissioning and cleaning up those areas that are becoming depleted.
“Scotland could do this alone – but it would be far more difficult because North Sea Oil revenues fluctuate – ranging from £2bn a year and £12bn a year since Scottish devolution.
“The weight of the UK economy can soak up this uncertainty as it amounts to only 1.5% of income. But for Scotland, North Sea revenues would have been almost 14% of income.
“In the UK, Scottish tax payers are shielded from over-reliance on a single uncertain strand of income.”
In response to a question from an oil industry representative about ‘re-creating trust on taxation’ between the industry and UK government, Davey said that the joint Fiscal Forum had been set up to address these issues.