North Sea oil and gas industry cost UK taxpayer £396m in 2016


Britain’s North Sea oil and gas industry was a net drain on the UK’s public finances for the first time last year, as the slump in the oil price hit company profits.

The sector received £396m, net of tax payments, from the government in 2016 compared with a contribution to the exchequer of £381m the previous year, according to analysis by energy specialist Carbon Brief. As recently as 2011, the industry’s contribution to the government’s coffers amounted to more than £10bn.

“The sector is no longer the cash cow chancellors have come to expect over the past several decades,” said Carbon Brief’s policy editor, Simon Evans.

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