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Labour’s North Sea ban to cost £4.5bn, warns Energy Secretary

The Energy Secretary warns that Labour's proposed ban on new North Sea oil and gas exploration will create a £4.5 billion shortfall in public finances, potentially leading to higher taxes

The Energy Secretary has warned that Labour’s proposal to ban new North Sea oil and gas exploration will result in a £4.5 billion deficit in public finances.

Claire Coutinho criticised Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s net zero plan, stating it would lead to significant economic and employment challenges.

Labour’s manifesto pledge aims to halt new oil and gas field explorations to address the climate crisis.

According to Tory analysis, this ban could result in a loss of £4.5 billion in tax revenues over the next decade and a total of £12.4 billion as North Sea production decreases.

Ministers have expressed concerns that the proposed ban would jeopardise 200,000 high-paying jobs linked to the sector, many of which are in Scotland.

In an article for The Telegraph, Ms Coutinho described the plans as an economic mistake that would leave the UK more dependent on foreign energy imports, lead to job losses and increase the risk of energy shortages.

Ms Coutinho argued that the financial gap created by the ban would need to be filled by raising other taxes.

The Energy Secretary suggested that the policy prioritises ideology over practicality, potentially leading to increased household energy bills.

In response, Labour dismissed these claims as unfounded, arguing that their focus on renewable energy investment would ultimately lower energy costs for consumers.

Labour maintains that their plan will address climate concerns while promoting sustainable energy solutions.

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