Clause 184 - Reduction of supplementary charge for certain oil fields

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 5:15 pm ar 19 Mehefin 2012.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury) 5:15, 19 Mehefin 2012

Given that we may have strayed into some of the territory of clause 184 during our previous discussion, I shall be brief to allow the Minister to respond. In summary, the clause and the schedule amend the field allowance legislation in chapter 7 of part 8 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010, with which we are all becoming extremely familiar, or we will be when the Committee has finished. The amendments enable the allowance to be extended to fields that have already been developed. As the Minister has indicated, the field allowance reduces the amount of profits, subject to the supplementary charge, when fields meet specific criteria. It is currently available only for new fields, and a new field is described as an oil field that is a qualifying oil field, by virtue of satisfying particular criteria, and whose development is authorised for the first time on or after 22 April 2009. I heard what the Economic Secretary said about recognising the importance of securing ongoing investment in existing North sea fields and infrastructure, and of looking to the future in giving industry the certainty that it needs to make the investments required, and I am interested, therefore, to hear what she has to say about how the measure will affect industry.

The Economic Secretary indicated that she would say something about smaller companies, and it would be helpful if she also mentioned some of the steps that will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2013. Whether or not we are here to be part of that, I think that we will all continue to take an interest in the matter, and it would help, therefore, to have an indication of what the stepping stones are in the consultation with industry, what she anticipates doing and how she anticipates reporting back to the House during that period, so that at Finance Bill 2013 we do not find ourselves stumbling across changes, complex clauses or technical amendments on which we have not been fully updated. I look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say.