Oil and tax ethics

Doesn’t the “oil price slide” 
discussed by Bill Jamieson 
(Comment, 1 December) show the absolute importance of applied ethics?

Apparently the economics of North Sea oil are of considerable concern among industry experts and economists.

Few, if any, will be “raising a glass of Irn Bru”, especially to the Opec cartel.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, one political policy issue dominates the discussion: “Ought the Chancellor to cut the industry’s tax bill?”

Bearing in mind the particular importance of oil for the regional economy of the North-east, what, for instance, would be the moral case of the Greens on whether to cut taxes?

Or what would be the argument of social democrats advocating increased public spending on welfare provision?

Seemingly some experts believe that supply and demand or “market dynamics” will lead to a “price recovery”.

Presumably accepting the consequences any precipitous decline in North Sea production would have on peoples’ lives.

Arguably, these are examples of the difficulties of argument in the applied ethics of political economy.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk