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ref date:10 Nov 1997 (ECON)
Extra oil tax woes

OIL GIANTS working in the North sea, mainly off Scotlands coast have warned Blairs Government not to price Britain out of the oil fields investment market.

The UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA), commented after speculation that the London (Westminster)Treasury will seek up to 5 billion in extra taxes from companies.

The tax increases, which UKOOA now accepts are inevitable, are likely to be used to fund major environmental protection and improved public transport schemes.

UKOOA spokesman, Steve Harris, said: "The oil industry cannot be seen as a soft touch when it comes to collecting taxes. The UK's great advantage to investors is that economically and politically it is relatively stable. "But a tax hike one year means there could be a tax hike another year. If investors feel that the UK tax system is becoming unstable, they may well take their money elsewhere."

Of course a Scottish parliament could CUT these taxes to encourage even more investment in Scottish oil and gas fields and still collect enough taxes to have superb funding for SCOTTISH projects.

At the moment this money is siphoned of to London to fund Westminsters pet projects. This daylight robbery has been going on since oil was first discovered in Scottish waters.