ALMOST eight out of ten oil executives believe taxes on the industry will rise if Scotland votes to become independent.
But nearly 64 per cent said the referendum debate was having no impact on North Sea investment plans, with the supply of skilled employees emerging as their most pressing area of concern, according to a report.
The survey, carried out by accountancy firm EY, also found the majority of those questioned wanted more information about the possible impact of independence.
Colin Pearson, a tax partner at the company, said: “The current Scottish Government has consistently stated that taxes would be reduced generally or in some targeted fashion following a Yes vote to promote Scotland’s economic prosperity.
“However, the results of our survey appear to suggest that oil and gas executives presently do not believe that this would apply to them.”
He said the industry had developed a “relatively stable relationship and mutual understanding” with the UK Treasury and added: “The onus is on the Scottish Government to do more to engage with the oil and gas community, starting with the publication of its blueprint for independence next week.”
EY, together with Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, surveyed 137 senior leaders and decision-makers in oil and gas-related companies.
A total of 79 per cent said they expected the tax take from the sector to rise if Scotland voted to become independent.