By Scott Wright

THE UK Government has been urged to do more to support families, businesses and the energy transition as it benefits from a huge leap in North Sea tax receipts.

The call came from Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce as it released figures showing offshore operators and licensees have been paying an average of £22.1 million in tax per day since the start of the year. Tax receipts have increased by 662 per cent, found the Chamber, which said the windfall will rise even further following the introduction of the Energy Profits Levy.

The levy has added a 25% surcharge to the extraordinary profits oil and gas companies have been making because of surging commodity prices.

READ MORE: Scott Wright: What will windfall tax on oil and gas firms mean for North Sea?

It was brought in alongside a new investment allowance that means that for every £1 companies invest they will make an overall tax saving of 91p. Companies such as Serica Energy have highlighted the benefit of the new tax breaks, with the North Sea giant noting in June that they would offset a “large element” of the new levy that would otherwise be payable on its profits this year. Serica’s plans to invest around £60 million in its assets this year will be eligible for the incentives.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber wants the allowance to be extended to include investment in technologies such as offshore wind, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and direct air capture. Policy director Ryan Chrighton said: “Our research shows that with increased receipts and its new profits levy, the Treasury is receiving a double windfall from the North Sea.

“On current trajectory, the tax take from the basin this financial year could be four times higher than the original forecasts done by the Office for Budget Responsibility in 2020. Clearly there is sufficient incremental tax revenues to fund the support to consumers and businesses, but also to go further and to inject real pace into the energy transition.

“Failing to include renewables in the investment allowance was a missed opportunity and we want to see it expanded to include investment in technologies such as offshore wind, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and direct air capture – all of which are currently being developed in the North-east of Scotland.

"We need to deliver the re-industrialisation of Scotland to make sure we capitalise on our green energy potential. These tax receipts provide an opportunity to do just that.”