Autumn statement could boost UK OSV marketNews // December 9, 2014
Following last week's Autumn Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Danny Alexander was despatched to Aberdeen to elaborate on Mr Osborne’s announcement of fiscal reforms for the North Sea.
Set out were promises of an immediate cut in the rate of the Supplementary Charge by 2 per cent to 30 per cent, an extension to ring-fencing of expenditure supplement to 10 years instead of the current six years and a new "cluster area allowance", aimed at encouraging companies to invest in ultra-high pressure and high temperature clusters.
Added to these this afternoon were the introduction of an investment allowance, a study into decommissioning options, measures to stimulate exploration and allocation additional funding to the Oil and Gas Authority.
The aim of the measures, which follow on the tails of the Wood review carried out earlier this year, is to simplify existing regimes and improve the fiscal competitiveness of the UK North Sea and come at a time when low commodity prices, global competition and ageing infrastructure poses challenges across the board.
"The measures have been greeted as positive first steps to address these challenges and it is clear that the focus should remain upon creating an attractive and stable fiscal environment moving forward," said the UK Chamber of Shipping.
"Investment and growth in this sector will have a knock-on beneficial effect for the shipping industry, particularly in the offshore supply sector, and a positive long-term impact in terms of employment and contributions to the UK economy."