Hammond delivers Budget treat for oil and STEM but sugar tax on soft drinks
Oil and gas taxation, technical training, research and women in STEM were among the early beneficiaries of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s 2017 Budget, announced today.
The Government appeared to have listened to the eleventh hour appeals from the oil sector with the promise to examine new incentives for North Sea operators seeking to sell assets.
This could include lightening the decommissioning tax burden on smaller, new operators which currently works as a deterrent to purchase.
Delivering what is expected to be the last-ever Spring Budget, Hammond told the House of Commons:
“I have heard… the calls by North Sea oil and gas producers and the Scottish government to provide further support for the transfer of late-life assets.
“As UK oil and gas production declines, it is essential that we maximise exploitation of remaining reserves and so we will publish a formal discussion paper in due course.”
Other highlights for the process industries included:
- £270 million “to keep the UK at the forefront of disruptive technologies” such as biotech and robotic systems
- £300 million to underwrite the cost of 1,000 new STEM-focused PhDs
- Introduction of ‘T Levels’ – A level equivalent technical qualifications for 16-19 year olds
- A 50% increase in the training hours for technical students to boost their work readiness
- £5 million for job ‘returnships’ – likely to aid working mothers in STEM professions
As UK oil and gas production declines it is essential that we maximise exploitation of remaining reserves
Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer
However, soft drinks manufacturers have been hit by a new two tier sugar tax: 18p on drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, rising to 24p for those with 8g or more.
Find a full transcript of the Chancellor’s Budget here and watch out for sector responses on this website.