Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources Martin Ferris TD has claimed that the announcement by the British exploration group Serica, that its survey of the Conan gas field has revealed a potential reserve of up to one billion cubic feet of natural gas, underlines the need for radical changes to the revenue and royalties regime.
Deputy Ferris said such an announcement ought to be good news but given the current liberal taxation regime applying to exploration companies, there would in fact be little benefit to the country compared to other countries where the state takes a larger share in oil and gas revenues.
The Kerry North TD said: “It is ironic that such an announcement is being made on the eve of a Budget which is predicted to include massive cuts in public service wages and public provision. As Sinn Féin has repeatedly said, if the proper tax and royalties were applied to companies operating in Irish waters there would be a massive gain to the public exchequer when the oil and gas comes on shore.
“Indeed it would be of such a scale not only to avoid the need for the sort of cuts being proposed, but to provide a stimulus to renewed economic growth. That is why it is so important that the taxation regime is changed and that the Irish state takes a more proactive role in oil and gas exploration and development.” ENDS