Danny the Axe-lander blamed for North Sea oil tax raid
30 March 2011
The Lib Dem Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander is being blamed for the cancelling of two North Sea investment programmes with about 40,000 current and future jobs being put at risk.
The sudden taxing of North Sea oil caught the industry by surprise. They are justifiably annoyed that they were not consulted, and the backlash has come quickly. Within days Statoil, Norway’s biggest energy producer, announced a moratorium on its £3bn investment programme in the region, rapidly followed by Scottish Gas owner Centrica which put its multimillion-pound North Sea investment programme on hold following the Government’s £10 billion windfall tax raid, announced in the Budget.
This time, criticism is focusing on Lib Dem Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander who, it was claimed, was “almost bragging” that the plan was his idea. So Tory, or Lib Dem, they have the same spirit of “we know best” in this top-down cut-up of our country, whether it is students, the health service or business. Yet again, the Lib Dems are carrying the can for the ConDem Alliance cuts, and this time it seems that it is deservedly so.
Just as Gordon Brown plundered the Pension funds and the Utilities, so our present government looks around for the most profitable businesses in order to filch their profits. This is not government. It is stealing. It demoralises companies, ruins investment plans and it deserves to be punished at the polls.
This behaviour is in line with the cattle-rustling raids of Highland clans in the past, but in a modern economy we expect something better of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
- 21 Mar 2012: One year on, the 2012 Budget contains tax breaks for decommissioning North Sea oil and gas projects - an attempt to roll back the damaging effects of Danny Alexander’s raid on the oil industry. This is another proof of the inability of the ConDem government to see the consequences of their actions. If this is not so - if they insist that they foresaw this - then it suggests a cynical taking away with one hand in order to ‘generously’ give it back with the other hand, in a poor attempt to be Robin Hood.
- 7 Sep 2012: George Osborne changes tack eighteen months later; “changing tack just a year after he introduced the extra charge” says the Financial Times.