MARINE ENERGY REPORT BACKS FUEL LEVY ACCESS
SNP MSP and Member of the Scottish Parliament’s Committees on Energy and Climate Change Rob Gibson has today urged Parliament to hold an inquiry into Scottish access to the £150 million of money accumulated on Scotland’s behalf as a result of the Fossil Fuel Levy.
Mr Gibson’s call comes after a report suggested there could be 12,500 jobs in marine renewables which could contribute £2.5 billion to Scotland's economy by 2020. The reports recommendations included “the release of the Fossil Fuel Levy surplus funds to help promote renewables in Scotland.”
There is at least £150 million held by the UK under the Fossil Fuel Levy that should accrue to Scotland. Due to Treasury rules any transfer of the money to Scotland would see the Scottish Government’s budget cut by the same amount – meaning no actual funding increase.
Mr Gibson, Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism committee and a member of the Parliament’s Climate Change Committee said;
“I want to find a way for Scotland to prise open the door of this bank vault and start investing this money in Scotland’s green future.
“As the recent report into marine renewable potential made clear we could generate over 12,500 jobs from investment in marine technology alone. Access to the Fossil Fuel Levy is a key part of realising that investment.
“There is universal agreement that, but for Treasury rules, this money should be being invested in Scotland’s green energy industry. We have been stuck at a logjam for years now – despite repeated Scottish Government efforts.
“I want to see the Energy Committee, which has previously recommended releasing the funds, take evidence on the value of this money and the reasons it cannot be accessed . We must look at ways we can release this money for Scottish investment.
“This £150 million of potential investment is sitting in a bank account in London when it could be being supporting Scotland’s green energy potential, creating jobs and working for our future.
“Scotland has vast potential when it comes to marine renewable energy.
“With over 12,500 potential new jobs in the industry we can not afford to let this opportunity pass.”