Labour's windfall tax could see 42,000 oil and gas jobs lost, industry warns

Sir Keir Starmer has been criticised over the 'proper windfall tax' which would see an energy profits levy of 78%.

Labour plans to extend the windfall tax on UK oil and gas producers could lead to 42,000 jobs and £26bn of economic value being wiped out, the offshore energy industry has warned.

The party published plans for a “proper” windfall tax earlier in the week which would see the energy profits levy for North Sea companies rising to 78%.

Labour said the move, which would bring the country in line with Norway, would “end the loopholes in the levy that funnel billions back to the oil and gas giants”.

Offshore Energies UK, the trade body for the sector, has asked for an urgent meeting with the Labour leadership following the plans being announced.

OEUK chief executive David Whitehouse said: “Labour either can’t do the maths or haven’t considered the alarming jobs impact that will be felt up and down the country.

“With no new investment, 42,000 jobs will go, and we could start to see the effects as early as this year. 

“These are not faceless numbers but decent, hardworking people working across the UK to provide the energy we will need today and in the future.  

“The impact of no new investment will be felt across the whole economy – today we estimate the UK will lose £26bn of economic value. It will undermine the very industry which can and must play a critical role in delivering a homegrown energy transition.  

“Last week I listened carefully to the Shadow Chancellor promise that Labour will work in partnership with UK businesses.

“We’ve always said the path to net zero is through working together between government, business, and people, ensuring no individual, community or sector is left behind – that’s not what we’ve had from Labour.

“The least this industry, our people, and our communities deserve is an urgent meeting with Labour leadership.” 

Sir Keir Starmer has defended his decision to extend the windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

He told broadcasters: “What I have done is go to Aberdeen and talk to the oil and gas industry for a two-day intensive discussion about the transition that we want to make, which is going to have to be made.

“They know that, they’re investing a huge amount in renewables.

“What they want is a Government that is going to work with them on that transition and that is why the British jobs bonus is so important, because I want to ensure that as we transition we get the new jobs of the future and don’t lose any jobs.

“So yes I’ve been having those discussions with them, very productive discussions, because I want to ensure that those jobs in Scotland are preserved and we add further jobs too.”

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