Editorial: The UK tax hike

12/12/2005
UK Chancellor Gordon Brown didn’t even spin it well. He surprised the UK North Sea oil and gas producing industry with a tax increase and acted altogether untroubled by the need to make economic sense of it (see Newsletter and p. 35).“With the tax on new development in the North Sea now lower than in the USA and the Gulf of Mexico, Norway, Italy, and Australia, and in order to strike the right balance between producers and consumers, I will raise the supplementary North Sea charge from 10% to 20%,” Brown said in a Dec. 5 budget speech after pointing out that North Sea investment returns have risen lately. To summarize the argument: Industry profitability is up, taxation ...
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