§ Mr. Rost
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimate of revenue that would result from subjecting the exploration and marketing of natural gas to the same tax regime now applicable to North Sea oil; and what percentage increase in consumer prices would be required for the British Gas Corporation to retain its current profitability under such a tax regime.
§ Mr. Joel Barnett
I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the effect of provisions of the Oil Taxation Act 1975 under which gas sold to the British Gas Corporation under a contract made before the end of June 1975 is disregarded in the calculation of petroleum revenue tax liability. I regret that having regard to the data collection and calculations that would be required, the information asked for cannot be provided save at disproportionate cost.