New Energy Secretary told to live up to North Sea pledges

Stewart Stevenson has called on the new Energy Secretary to put his words into actions.
Stewart Stevenson has called on the new Energy Secretary to put his words into actions.

The SNP has demanded that the new Energy Secretary puts his money where his mouth is and supports the oil and gas sector – after he claimed it was a “huge priority” for the UK government on a recent trip to Aberdeen.

Greg Clark visited Aberdeen for the first time in his new role last week, and the SNP have challenged him to deliver where his predecessors have failed – to support the sector through its ongoing challenges.

The SNP Government has consistently taken action to support jobs and workers across the North-East by investing in infrastructure, committing extra funding to the Aberdeen City Region Deal and working with the industry to help retrain staff to get them back into work.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, said: “It is vitally important to jobs and the economy across the North-East that Mr Clark doesn’t simply talk about making North Sea oil and gas a “huge priority” but actually delivers on this.

“The UK government have failed miserably to support the North-East in these challenging times – action is long overdue from a government that happily reaps the benefits from the industry when times are good, but quickly deserts it when times are tough.

“The Tory government needs to show the same level of commitment to the North-East as the Scottish Government has - and take action to protect the industry, such as reducing fiscal barriers to exploration and improving access to decommissioning tax relief.

“The new energy secretary must live up to his pledges on the sector and take action now to protect jobs and livelihoods across the region. His predecessors have failed miserably to do this – Greg Clark must put his money where his mouth is and ensure he doesn’t become yet another member of the Tory government with a dreadful record in protecting jobs in the North Sea.”