Darling will look at North Sea tax cuts

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The Government will look at new tax cuts for the oil and gas industry as "circumstances change" in the North Sea, Alistair Darling promised yesterday.

The Chancellor, who was visiting Shell's Shearwater platform, 125 miles east of Aberdeen, said the new "field allowance" unveiled in this year's Budget is aimed at encouraging further development in the North Sea. "Part of my purpose of visiting Aberdeen is so that I can speak to people in the industry, see what's happened over the last 12 months or so, to help inform any decisions I might make in the pre-Budget report or in the Budget next year," he said after the visit. Asked if this meant further concessions, Mr Darling said any proposal would be outlined in the pre-Budget report.