Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Michael Colreavy TD has said that Ireland’s oil and gas extraction must be for the benefit of the people of Ireland, not for the benefit of private industry.
Speaking in the Dáil on the review of Ireland’s oil and gas fiscal system, Deputy Colreavy said:
“There is a common misconception amongst the public that Ireland needs its low oil and gas taxation in order to promote exploration and develop our oil and gas industry.
“Successive Irish governments and the oil industry lobby have propagated this myth for many years.
“However, Ireland’s offshore oil and gas reserves have the long term potential to be a significant source of revenue for the economy.
“According to a 2006 report carried out by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources there is approximately 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent off our western coast, composed of 6.5 billion barrels of oil and 20 trillion cu. ft. of gas.
“As new technologies emerge and develop, along with the rising price of oil and gas, reserves that were previously dismissed are now becoming commercially viable.
“The changes to the fiscal regime announced recently by Minister Rabbitte are welcome in some respects.
“It shows that those who protested against Ireland’s poor tax terms on offshore oil and gas have been proved correct.
“The increase of the maximum rate of PRRT falls far short of what the report carried out by the then Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture proposed in 2012.
“The Minister should examine all the conditions placed on oil and gas companies who wish to operate in Ireland and introduce a progressive system which benefits the people of Ireland.”