Ferris Calls for Proper Energy Strategy
The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD, has called for changes to be made to the tax structure governing oil and gas companies operating here. The Kerry North TD was speaking during a debate on energy and pointed out that Ireland will benefit little from any oil and gas that comes on stream unless there is an adequate return in taxing the massive profits that will be made.
Deputy Ferris said:
“Norway is an example often cited with regard to the proper taxation and supervision of energy exploration and the role which the state has played in the development of its natural resources and in accruing revenue through taxation and royalties has laid the basis for a strong economy outside of the EU.
“Of course it will be argued that Norway’s offshore exploration sector has been well developed over more than 30 years but the fact is that it was in place from the beginning and contrary to what some people here say, their tax regime and state oversight did not frighten away foreign companies. That was the excuse given here for the decisions to change the tax and royalties regime, but that has not been the international experience even in countries where multi nationals have exerted considerable influence over the local Governments. Obviously a certain influence has been exerted here as well, given the ridiculously easy terms which have been handed to companies like Shell.
“Nor did those companies involved in exploration in Norway refuse to enter into partnerships with the Norwegian state exploration company. Indeed it is ironic that because of the involvement of the Norwegian state company Statoil in the Corrib project that when that comes on stream the Norwegians will benefit more than the people of this state because of that involvement.”