A few days ago, George Osborne announced huge tax breaks – from 62% to 30% – for shale gas companies. Tax payers money is about to be given to some of the world’s largest and richest companies.
RAFF was contacted by the local press for a response:
“We are furious that this government is prepared to give enormous tax breaks to some of the world’s richest energy companies. We will see vast swathes of our countryside turned into polluting industrialised zones as the dash for gas gets underway. The incentives would have been much better spent on developing renewable energy and, at the same time, creating thousands of new jobs. People need to start asking themselves if the shale gas sector is the economic miracle the Chancellor claims it to be, why then does he need to offer such huge incentives.”
Vested interests of government frackheads
RAFF thinks the situation stinks. As we have reported a number of times, many individuals connected with the government have more than a vested interest in the shale gas sector. Osborne’s father-in-law, Lord Howell, for example is a lobbyist for some energy companies.
Recently, the Independent newspaper ran an article, Revealed: Fracking industry bosses at heart of coalition, which stated, “The former BP boss Lord Browne, Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw and BG Group director Baroness Hogg have all been accused of the potential for conflicts of interest, as they hold senior advisory roles at a time when the Government is heavily promoting fracking.”
- Lord Browne – former BP boss, chairman of Cuadrilla and lead “non-executive” across Government, meaning that he helps recruit other non-executives to Whitehall
- Baroness Hogg – non-executive for the Treasury sits on the board of BG Group, which has significant shale gas assets in the United States
- Sam Laidlaw – non-executive to the Transport Department is also chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, which recently bought a 25% stake in Cuadrilla’s most promising shale gas prospect
- Ben Moxham – former executive at BP when Lord Browne was boss, he followed the peer to Riverstone Holdings, which owns 42% of Cuadrilla. Moxham was energy adviser at No 10 but quit in May
- Lord Howell – George Osborne’s father-in-law is also president of the British Institute of Economics, whose backers include BP and BG Group
We can smell the stench from here!