MORE than £300 billion has gone to the UK Treasury because of Scotland’s North Sea energy resources, the SNP have said on the anniversary of the Act which first opened the area up to “exploration and exploitation”.

Dave Doogan, the party’s energy spokesperson at Westminster, called for the projected £20.6bn which will be raised by taxes on North Sea oil and gas in the next five years to be spent on green energy projects in Scotland.

Doogan spoke out on the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the Continental Shelf Act, which came into effect on April 15, 1964.

According to the legislation’s introductory text, it was passed in order “to make provision as to the exploration and exploitation of the continental shelf”.

READ MORE: UK fuelling ‘aggressive’ expansion of oil and gas production in North Sea

The SNP said that around £300bn had been taken by the Treasury in tax from North Sea oil and gas since the act was passed, and pointed to analysis from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) about how much it will continue to generate moving forward.

In 2022-23, the OBR said some £9.8bn had been raised thanks to the tax rate on North Sea profits, which will be in place until the end of March 2029.

The OBR Economic and fiscal outlook report, from March 2024, goes on: “We expect these taxes to raise £5.2bn in 2023-24 – a £4.6bn fall in receipts on 2022-23 – due to sharply lower energy prices and lower production.

“We expect receipts to fall further from 2023-24 to reach £2.2bn by 2028-29 as energy prices and production decline.”

Despite the declining totals year on year, the OBR expects North Sea taxes to raise some £20.6bn by 2029, the SNP said.

The National: SNP candidate for Abroath Dave Doogan, as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets voters and activists in Abroath. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 16, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA

Doogan (above) commented: “This anniversary is a pertinent reminder of the fact that for 60 years Scotland’s vast energy resources have been under Westminster control.

“Instead of investing the £300bn in Scotland’s North Sea revenue to build up infrastructure, to grow the economy, to tackle poverty or invest in public services, that money was squandered by successive Westminster governments to prop up a failing UK economic system. This is as true today as it was 60 years ago.

“That’s why Scotland’s energy will be at the heart of the General Election campaign and it’s why a vote for the SNP is a vote to control our energy future. A vote for the SNP is a vote for powers over energy to be in Scotland’s hands with independence, not Westminster’s.

“This is Scotland’s energy – and it must first and foremost benefit the people and communities of Scotland.”

Doogan went on: “With independence, we will do what Labour and the Tories have failed to do – make Scotland’s energy work for Scotland, not for Westminster.

“That means that in energy-rich Scotland, people shouldn’t be paying some of the highest energy bills in Europe during this cost-of-living crisis.

It means re-investing Scotland’s energy wealth back into our communities, rather than seeing it flow to Westminster.

“And it means the taxation that is still to come from the North Sea, should be re-invested into growing the green economy in Scotland.

“The future of Scotland’s energy goes to the very heart of the choice that will come at the General Election. Westminster isn’t working for Scotland – and it’s time that decisions about Scotland were taken in Scotland, for Scotland, to benefit the people of Scotland.”