Watching the World: Brown’s oil tax bonanza

A tax bonanza from the soaring value of North Sea oil has fueled bumper revenues from British companies for Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown.Corporation tax receipts surged by more than 50% due, as well, to a change in the timing of oil groups’ tax payments from April to January.Analysts agreed that the data strengthened the UK’s public finances, but they questioned the effects on the UK North Sea oil industry.One economist warned that Brown’s tax hike on oil company profits could lead directly to a £2 billion cut in investment and the loss of almost 4,000 jobs if prices fall to $30/bbl.Tony Mackay said oil prices would need to remain at $60/bbl or more for...

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