Plans to ditch a windfall tax on oil and gas firms because of falling market prices have been heavily criticised by the Scottish Greens as showing the “exact opposite” of climate leadership.
The Treasury announced plans to reduce the tax on fossil fuel firms from 75% to 40% if the average price falls to a set level for two consecutive months.
That’s despite industry – through OPEC – being largely responsible for what those prices are by controlling supply, and companies posting record profits.
Mark Ruskell MSP, Scottish Greens environment spokesperson, said:
“This is unbelievable, it is environmentally devastating.
“What are they thinking?
“It stinks to high heaven of yet more very questionable backroom deals being struck with profit heavy business and the Tory government, and to hell with the consequences for our planet.
“If anything we should be hitting these shareholder driven corporations with higher taxation to redress the environmental destruction they have wrought on our environment for decades without political challenge from Tory or Labour governments.
“This is the exact opposite of climate leadership.
“The Tories with their planet abusing policies simply cannot be trusted with our environment, nor to protect the future of our children who look to face worsening emissions, anxiety and fears as a result.
“To announce this during a cost of living crisis created by their economic failures, and on the very day major banks and building societies are pulling mortgages because of soaring interest rates created by those actions, shows utter contempt for ordinary people.
“It seems not a day now goes by without the polluters’ party coming up with yet another way to screw over our environment.
“We can only hope that the next generation of voters will be ready to mobilise against them to make the UK a Tory free zone.
“Only by phasing out oil and gas, with a plan led by highly skilled workers in the sector, can we ever hope to have a liveable future.
“That’s what the Scottish Greens want.
“We stand for people and for planet.
“But what about Labour or the Lib Dems?
“When are they going to wake up to the climate crisis and help us get rid of this dystopian horror show of a government.”