Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tax Row with Energy Firms Puts Jobs at Risk

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tax Row with Energy Firms Puts Jobs at Risk

Article excerpt

Byline: Adrian Pearson Regional affairs correspondent

AGOVERNMENT tax row has put Tyneside job creation at risk as oil firms cancel major contracts.

The Government has been urged to act as stalled talks with the energy sector over tax rises see major investment decisions put on ice, meaning long-term uncertainty for North East firms working in the oil and gas supply chain.

The danger comes as new figures show UKTI is failing to bring in enough jobs to the region. Behind the scenes talks with the trade group are ongoing as it emerges that only 2.8% of total projects landed by UKTI go to the North East, despite the region having the UK's highest unemployment rate.

With the double threat to North East jobs, one Labour MP has called on the Government to unfreeze offshore investments.

North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon told the House of Commons that firms in the region were concerned that their success was being put at risk by a Government row with energy firms.

She said: "Is the Secretary of State aware that all the new oil and gas platform construction projects for this year have been either cancelled or postponed, which will have a devastating effect on employment in my constituency and others in the North East, as well as those in Scotland? Will he, together with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, take immediate steps to address this matter?" It is thought that among the many disputes holding back the decision to go ahead with further oil and gas work is a concern among the private sector that the brownfield incentives that are used to make drilling cheaper are not sufficient.

The North East subsea sector is a PS1bn turnover industry and in Newcastle, offshore fabrication group OGN is one of many firms to create jobs as a result of firms drilling for oil in the North Sea. …

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