North Sea Oil Tax Schemes Exposed

Published at 02:30PM - 25/08/16

A new report released by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) exposed secret North Sea oil tax schemes used by major producers.

The global union federation reported on “Offshore Oil, Offshore Tax” that North Sea oil production only accounts for 0.7% of all tax receipts collected by the UK government, a big difference from nearly 9% in the mid-1980s.

“The public would be shocked to see how Chevron uses a complex web of companies to route money through the Netherlands, Bermuda and other tax havens. It has over 200 active subsidiaries in Bermuda alone,” ITF General Secretary, Steve Cotton, said.

North Sea Oil Tax Schemes Exposed

The General Secretary explained that the report laid out the secretive corporate structures used by Chevron and now copied by other oil and gas companies operating in the North Sea.

“While production has fallen, tax revenues have fallen much further, due to tax cuts and aggressive tax minimisation schemes,” he said.

He made an analogy with British motorists, saying they paid six times more tax on petrol than the oil and gas industry paid on all taxes covering North Sea oil production, in 2013/2014.

“It is well documented that both Shell and BP are using similar corporate structures to reduce their tax in the UK. Both BP and Shell in 2014 paid no UK corporate tax,” he said.

Call for Action by the UK Government

“The UK government needs to investigate and set up action to clamp down on any inappropriate tax loopholes being exploited by Chevron to make sure UK taxpayers are not taken for a ride and it pays its fair share,” the Scottish Secretary of the Unite trade union, Pat Rafferty, stated.

“This thorough new research blows open the complex tax avoidance measures undertaken by a major multinational. Anyone concerned with ending the scourge of tax avoidance needs to pay careful attention to its findings,” Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, said.

“It’s time to put a stop to these complex company structures that rip off taxpayers and place extra strains on public services across the globe,” he added.