Government announce massive tax breaks for fracking

The government today released further details of the most generous tax breaks package in the world, to encourage investment in this financially high risk area. The new shale gas allowance will more than halve the tax due.

Defend Lytham is concerned that Mr Osborne has pressed ahead with this needless subsidy, even against the advice of shale gas advocates like Peter Lilley MP and the industry itself. Mr Lilley, reiterated in parliament yesterday his view that these tax breaks are “completely unnecessary”. And Francis Egan is on record as saying that his company is “not asking for a special regime”

We are equally concerned that the government has failed to provide details of the new planning guidance which we were assured would be published by yesterday at the latest.

A government which ensures that a controversial industry is subsidised before it sorts out the associated planning environment, and which spends more time publicising cash incentives for local communities that it does in ensuring we have effective regulation in place to protect those communities has its priorities very, very wrong.

Defend Lytham believes that this subsidy to the fracking industry is totally unnecessary.

Defend Lytham spokesman and industry expert, Mike Hill, comments “We are being told by the Chancellor that fracking is some sort of economic miracle but it seems that it also needs five times as many incentives (tax breaks/subsidies) as the renewable alternatives. It is now common knowledge that the USA will export cheap gas to the UK – cheaper than we can get it ourselves from our closest ally – so the energy security and financial case for subsidising fracking with taxpayers’ money is just not there. We have to ask why does Osborne carry on wasting our money and what part those with vested interests – Lord Browne and Lord Howell (Mr Osborne’s father in law) who both have huge stakes in oil and gas might have had in this decision? The government needs to get its story straight and its priorities right.”

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