Labour plans oil bul­letin

En­ergy: An­a­lyt­i­cal re­port on off­shore in­dus­try to re­place one axed by SNP

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY CALUM ROSS

Labour has un­veiled plans to es­tab­lish a new oil and gas bul­letin to re­place a sys­tem axed by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

Shadow UK En­ergy Sec­re­tary Re­becca LongBai­ley said the pro­posed an­a­lyt­i­cal bul­letin would re­port to the Holy­rood and West­min­ster gov­ern­ments.

Speak­ing be­fore a visit to Aberdeen to­day, she said the SNP gov­ern­ment’s decision to aban­don its own sys­tem “isn’t ac­cept­able”.

The brief­ings were

“We would re­port reg­u­larly so we could as­sess the sec­tor’s health”

pub­lished in the runup to the in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum in 2014, with the first us­ing a “cau­tious” es­ti­mate of an oil price of $113 a bar­rel to ar­gue Scotland could yield £48bil­lion in tax rev­enues by 2018.

Fur­ther bul­letins were pub­lished in 2013 and 2014 – with the next and last “top­i­cal an­a­lyt­i­cal brief­ing” not ap­pear­ing un­til 2015.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has said the “re­quire­ment for any an­a­lyt­i­cal bul­letins is kept un­der re­view, and there is al­ready a wealth of other pub­lished in­for­ma­tion”.

But Ms Long-Bai­ley said: “We think the is­sues fac­ing the in­dus­try need to be reg­u­larly re­ported on, to the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and West­min­ster, so we are aware of the chal­lenges it faces. The SNP not re­port­ing on it since 2015 isn’t ac­cept­able, so in power we would re­port reg­u­larly so we could as­sess its health, and also what needs to hap­pen.

“It will give us an op­por­tu­nity to mon­i­tor what’s hap­pen­ing, but that won’t be the only as­pect of sup­port and col­lab­o­ra­tive mon­i­tor­ing we would im­ple­ment.”

The Sal­ford and Ec­cles MP told the Press and Jour­nal a fu­ture Labour gov­ern­ment would also move to es­tab­lish an oil and gas coun­cil.

“One of the key parts of our in­dus­trial strat­egy, for ex­am­ple, is to set up sec­tor coun­cils, based on the automotive coun­cil, which we set up un­der a Labour gov­ern­ment,” she said.

“It brings the in­dus­try to­gether with the busi­nesses in it, trade unions, aca­demics and ex­perts in the field to meet reg­u­larly to dis­cuss what we need to do to drive the in­dus­try for­ward, and what ar­eas of re­search and de­vel­op­ment we need to pur­sue, how we can di­ver­sify the in­dus­try, be­cause there are a num­ber of pro­cesses and tech­nolo­gies ap­pli­ca­ble to a num­ber of dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries.”

PLEDGE: Shadow UK En­ergy Sec­re­tary Re­becca Long-Bai­ley has said Labour would re­in­state the oil and gas bul­letin

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