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MEPs Attack UK Shale Tax Plans

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

22 January 2014


The former chair of the EU's Committee on the Environment has been quoted as saying that the European Commission should "urgently analyze and intervene against" a recently-announced plan by the British Government to allow local councils to keep 100 percent of the business rate revenue from shale gas sites.

The plan does not affect the amount of tax paid by shale companies, but Jo Leinen MEP reportedly told news site EurActiv that the move amounts to a "new subventing of fossil fuels" and would be open to challenge due to EU rules on state aid. One Green MEP suggested that the plan was akin to "bribing a local politician," and several other MEPs contacted by the site expressed support for an investigation.

Leinen said he was "sure" there would be "requests and complaints" to the EC, although so far no official notification has been made to the body.

Chancellor George Osborne, in his Autumn Statement, announced what he called "the most competitive tax regime in Europe" for the shale industry.

TAGS: tax | European Commission | property tax | United Kingdom | oil and gas | Europe

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