Michael Matheson ‘not opposed’ to oil and gas windfall tax

Scottish Government energy secretary Michael Matheson has come under fire after saying he is “not opposed” to the idea of a windfall tax on oil and gas, despite the SNP opting not to back it in Westminster.
Michael Matheson said he was not opposed to a windfall tax on oil and gas.Michael Matheson said he was not opposed to a windfall tax on oil and gas.
Michael Matheson said he was not opposed to a windfall tax on oil and gas.

Mr Matheson said in an interview on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show that he was “not entirely opposed” to the tax.

Last week, SNP MPs refused to back Westminster proposals put forward by Labour which urged the UK Government to introduce a one-off tax on the “profits of North Sea oil and gas producers” to help ease the cost of living crisis. Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn raised the question of the impact on workers of such a tax, while Richard Thomson, SNP MP for Gordon, dubbed the plans a “smash and grab on the North sea industry”.

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Mr Matheson said: “I'm not against the idea entirely of some form of windfall tax. I'm not entirely opposed to it. But what I what I think is important is that any type of schemes introduced is done in a fair and reasonable way and it doesn't have the unintended consequences of pushing up fuel costs even further.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has publicly opposed proposals for the Cambo oil field near Shetland.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “The danger to family finances posed by the energy crisis cannot be overstated, but Scotland is being failed by two governments. Given the chance to vote with Labour to deliver a windfall tax to support struggling Scots, the SNP decided to sit on their hands.

“They chose to stand with energy companies making £27,000 a minute, and not with people struggling to pay their bills. The SNP has refused to back Labour’s windfall tax on energy companies - but now Michael Matheson claims he is open to the idea.

He added: “It’s high time that this SNP government stopped commenting on the cost-of-living crisis and started acting. They can use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to increase winter fuel payments, but refuse. Instead, they have made the cost-of-living crisis worse by increasing rail fares and water charges.”

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