Chancellor gives huge amounts of our money to gas exploration companies
The Chancellor has announced enormous tax breaks for companies who want to increase the UK reliance on fossil fuels by fracking for shale gas. The tax rate has been set at 30% which is far below the current top rate of 62% for new North Sea oil operations and up to 81% for the older offshore fields.
So far there has been little mention of regulation and control to ensure that chemicals used in the fracking process are disclosed or of assessment of the well integrity to ensure that boreholes are not prone to leaking. The coalition Government has made no mention of any use of micro-seismic monitoring of potential drilling areas to determine the impact on local area. As far as George Osborne is concerned it is a bonanza for his pals while he misleads the public into thinking that their gas prices will go down.
The truth is that the gas extracted will most likely be sold on the open world market and because of the costs involved in shale gas extraction in Britain compared with the United States, there will be no cheap gas for consumers in the UK, simply large profits for the fracking companies and energy companies at the tax payers expense.
No change there then!