Industry 'seen as cash cow by Westminster '

A NEWLY elected SNP MSP has demanded a Scottish Parliament debate on the UK Government's multi-billion pound tax raid on the North Sea oil and gas industry.

The call from Nationalist MSP Mark McDonald comes after Chancellor George Osborne announced a 10 billion package of taxes on the energy sector as one of the key measures in his Budget in March.

North East MSP Mr McDonald accused the UK Government of treating Scotland's oil and gas industry as a "cash cow" and of putting jobs at risk.

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"The Chancellor's decision to increase tax on the North Sea oil and gas industry has already put job creation in the North Sea at risk and, with this proposal to increase the tax on transporting workers offshore, the UK Government is again trying to bankroll the Treasury by hiking North Sea taxes," he said.

"There is widespread opposition to the way the UK Government is treating the North Sea industry.

"Instead of simply seeing a cash cow, the Tory Government must realise how important our offshore industry is for jobs across Scotland and for the economy of the North East in particular."