UK to give incentives to councils allowing shale gas developments to proceed
In a bid to create more jobs and further investment in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron will be giving incentives amounting to millions of pounds to local authorities that will pave the way for shale gas developments, Bloomberg reported.
Citing figures from the Prime Minister's office, the report said councils could keep 100% of the business rates they would be able to collect from the shale gas sites. This compares with the current figure which is pegged at 50%. The move could also amount to £1.7 million or $2.8 million for every site in funding from the central government annually, the report said. Taxes that help pay for services given at the local level are called business rates. These are levied on majority of non-domestic properties, the report said.
The report quoted Business Minister Michael Fallon who told BBC, "That's going to be quite a significant boost for that local council's coffers. We want local councils and local people to benefit from this exploration. We expect 20-40 wells to be drilled in exploration over the next couple of years."
Citing research done by The Institute of Directors, Cameron's office said that investment could go up to £3.7 billion annually and sustain 74,000 jobs in industries like oil, gas, engineering construction and chemicals. The business lobby group also research also said that the industry will be able to make proposals on the best strategy for British firms to secure their role in the supply chain as production of shale gas continues to develop in the UK, Bloomberg reported.
In an emailed statement, Cameron told Bloomberg, "A key part of our long-term economic plan to secure Britain's future is to back businesses with better infrastructure. That's why we're going all out for shale. It will mean more jobs and opportunities for people and economic security for our country."