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More Oil and Gas selloffs on the way

Socialist Workers Party

Corrib gas has been the biggest sell-off of our natural resources to date. Under the FG/Labour government this record may soon be matched.

There are an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil off the west coast of Ireland. Recent advances in technology have meant a jump in exploration applications: 2 in 2009 to 15 in 2011.

Under the terms of a 1992 licensing agreement, oil companies pay just 25% tax, which can be written off against exploration costs. Companies applying after 2007 had a profit resource rent tax (PRRT) introduced, with 5% to 15% tax on profits.

A report by the US Government Accountability Office found Ireland had the 2nd lowest government take (on oil and gas) in the world. Oil and gas produced in Ireland is in complete ownership of the petroleum lease holder.

Labour party Energy Minister, Pat Rabbite said:
“We have to design the tax structure so that it will invite more activity” and that protesting against Shell Oil has “damaged our reputation”.

But Labour also complains there is no wealth available to deal with the economic crisis.
The best way to respond to this is by demanding our natural resources be taken into public ownership immediately.

Posted Date: 
12 August 2011