HL Deb 25 January 2005 vol 668 cc153-4WA
Lord Howell of Guildford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What studies they have made about the simplification of North Sea oil taxation; and whether such studies include the consolidation of all such taxes into a single corporation tax regime, with the abolition of all other upstream taxes. [HL789]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

Like all taxes, the North Sea fiscal regime is kept under constant review to ensure that it delivers a fair return to the nation from a national resource and encourages investment, while keeping regulatory and administrative burdens to a minimum. In designing the major changes to the regime in 2002, including the abolition of North Sea royalty, the Government paid particular regard to the need to keep the regime as simple as possible while ensuring that it fully met its objectives. The Government formed the view at that time that a migration to a single tax would not have achieved these objectives.