2013 budget announces shale gas tax breaks

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Tax breaks for shale gas companies, and Climate Change Levy Exemption for ceramics companies were announced in the 2013 budget.

Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom

The Chancellor George Osborne today unveiled his 2013 budget, which he said would help “those who want to work hard & get on”.

But there was no sign of the new, simpler ‘carbon tax’ that we thought might possibly replace the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.

Shale Gas

In his autumn statement, George Osborne made a promise to the UK that he would take steps to encourage the development and exploration of our shale gas reserves.

During his budget speech he said: “I want Britain to tap into new sources of low-cost energy like shale gas… Shale gas is part of the future. And we will make it happen.”

Britain has massive reserves of shale gas. Enough possibly to power our whole country for another two or three hundred years.

Shale gas is extracted by drilling into shale rock formations and injecting a mixture of water and chemicals into the rock at high pressure. This gas extraction technique is known as ‘hydraulic fracturing’, or fracking as it has fast become known.

Companies wishing to extract gas from shale can now get a tax allowance for developing gas fields and can offset their spending against tax for the next ten years.

Climate Change Levy Exemption

The Climate Change Levy is an environmental tax most companies need to pay. It is levied on businesses, and is used to fund investment in renewable and low-carbon technology.

The Chancellor has announced in the budget that the ceramics industry will from be given exemption from the charge in future, and plans to exempt other ‘energy intensive’ industries in the future.

For organisations that use large amounts of electricity, the CCL is a large chunk of their overhead, so this should make it much easier for them to remain competitive with companies from overseas.

Sources: Budget 2013: green measures at a glance – Guardian | Budget 2013: George Osborne commits to UK shale gas boom – Guardian | Ceramics saved from climate change tax – Telegraph | After ‘bribes for wind farms’ communities are offered money for fracking – Telegraph