Huge contribution to economy

ANGUS MP Mike Weir, SNP Westminster spokesperson on energy, said the industry UK oil and gas industry continues to play a vital part in the economy and will do so in changing ways in the future.

His comments came following the publication of the annual activity report of the UK oil and gas industry on Tuesday.

Mr Weir continued: “The oil and gas industry continues to be a vital part of our local economy and clearly there continues to be a long term future for the industry with as much oil left around our shores as has already been extracted.

“Many local people work directly and indirectly in the industry both in Scotland and in many areas overseas. Oil and gas will continue to provide a very significant number of jobs for a long time to come.”

He stated: “It is particularly important that the industry is at the leading edge of engineering. These developing skills are not only vital for oil and gas but provide a huge opportunity for cross over into the new green economy of offshore renewables.

“Angus can develop those skills and future jobs with the offshore wind farms being proposed and we must make every effort to grasp the opportunities.

“Unfortunately the present UK government has seen fit to damage the prospects of the present industry by sudden tax changes and the future industry by its watering down of attempts to create a greener economy.”

Mr Weir concluded: “This demonstrates yet again the necessity of Scotland getting the full economic powers of independence to ensure that we develop existing industries and build a new greener economy for the future.”