§ 1. Mr. Dubs asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of North Sea oil revenues from corporation tax, petroleum revenue tax and royalties in 1980–81.
§ The Minister of State, Treasury (Mr. Peter Rees)
The figures—which were published in the Treasury economic progress report for July—are £450 million, £2,560 million and £1,090 million for corporation tax, petroleum revenue tax, and royalties respectively.
§ Mr. Dubs
Is the Minister aware that many experts believe that the Treasury is seriously under-estimating the likely revenue from North Sea oil over the next two or three years? That is likely to result in a lower, or possibly negative, public sector borrowing requirement. Will the Minister make clear that, if that happens, he will review the public expenditure cuts with a view to reducing them?
§ Mr. Waldegrave
Will my hon. and learned Friend consider making a statement on the revenue implications of the Secretary of State for Energy's recent statement on depletion policy?
§ Mr. Healey
Will the Minister of State explain why the figures that are published in the brown book on the effects of North Sea oil revenue are all in 1978–79 prices and therefore understate by more than half the actual benefit that the Government are deriving from North Sea oil? Will he assure the House that the reason for that is that the Government are now throwing £ 4 billion worth of revenue 745 down the drain in financing unemployment that they have created?
§ Mr. Healey
Will the Minister answer a question that has been asked repeatedly in the House? Why are the Government understating by more than 60 per cent. in the brown book the actual value of oil to them?