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POSTIVE BUSINESS BUDGET DENTED BY NEW NORTH SEA OIL & GAS TAXES

[ 23-03-2011 ]

Commenting on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget statement, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
 
“There is much to welcome for business in this year’s budget.  A reduction in fuel duty, accompanied by the abolition of the fuel duty escalator, together with a further planned cut in Corporation Tax to an eventual rate of 23% are both extremely welcome for Scottish business.   We also welcome the increase in the small firms R&D tax credit scheme and the news that the 50% Income Tax band is viewed as a temporary measure.
 
 
 
“For Scotland, it will be important for the next Scottish Government to work with the UK Government to see how Scottish firms can benefit from planned action to tackle the burden of regulation on business and to explore the possibility of a Scottish model for enterprise zones.
 
“Less welcome is the unexpected increase in the Supplementary Rate of Corporation Tax for the North Sea Oil and Gas sector from 20% to 32%.  This could seriously impact the industry’s capacity to invest in new and hard-to-get-at reserves in more challenging areas of the UK Continental Shelf.  There was also little positive news on the unfair impact that Air Passenger Duty has on Scotland, and we will be continuing our campaign to have this addressed sooner rather than later.
 
“Overall then, a good budget on balance for business, somewhat spoilt by a few unwelcome surprises for our oil and gas industry and air travellers.”
 

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