Sharing energy with Norway
Sir, – In response to Pat Rabbitte’s article “Oil firms will shun us if we have Norwegian-style taxes” (Opinion, August 18th): surely this is the reason why the Norwegians have their own company, Statoil? And this low-tax philosophy from a supposedly “Labour” politician? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – In response to Fintan O’Toole’s article on the giveaway of our natural resources, a policy initiated by the previous government and continued by the present one, I have this to add. The mantra often expressed by the Taoiseach “Ireland is open for business” can be more correctly understood by substituting the word “exploitation” for “business”. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Fintan O’ Toole is to be commended for his article (“Let’s make Norway joint owner of our oil and gas”, Opinion, August 16th). That suggestion was never more apt, in a volatile global economy, as our country is on its knees, with increasing debt and unemployment, while energy suppliers seek substantial price increases for gas and electricity, contributing to inflation and increasing the burden on our hard-pressed tax payers.
Now more than ever, it is incumbent on our new Government to adopt a lateral-thinking approach, in order to maximise the return on such natural resources by bringing them ashore, distributing and initiating export of such energy without undue delay.
In the interest of our country, let us now move to that process.
Let us do so by way of encouraging open debate, seeking public input and national consensus, before another national resource is sold off for the proverbial “40 pieces of silver” to the detriment of our nation and its future generations. – Yours etc,
Sir, – Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte’s assertion that Ireland’s tax take on our oil and gas: “compares favourably with all similar countries but not with Norway” (Opinion, August 19th) is misguided.
A report by the US government accountability office in 2007 found that Ireland has the second lowest government take on oil and gas deposits of 142 countries studied. Furthermore the headline figure of 25 per cent tax cited by Mr Rabbitte will never be applied under our current taxation regime due to the generous availability of tax loopholes to offset exploration and drilling costs.
It is time that we ditch the failed economic policies of the last government; and instead we should adopt the European norm in tax take for oil and gas. – Yours, etc,