CITY WHISPERS: North Sea tax gushers to dry up under Labour

One of the lesser-spotted species of stock exchange announcements is the ‘payments to governments’ report.

It is no surprise that they often contain juicy numbers and, for energy companies, it can be a good way to put their contributions to the taxman into perspective.

Enter Harbour Energy: the largest producer in the North Sea. 

Payments: Harbour Energy paid £335m into the UK’s coffers in the 2023 calendar year

According to its report, released last week, it paid £335million into the UK’s coffers in the 2023 calendar year.

The contribution from the £2.5billion company, was only slightly less than that of Shell, which is worth £180billion.

Harbour was already looking beyond the North Sea before the Election was called, after the windfall tax was introduced by the Conservatives. 

Labour’s plan to raise it have pushed businesses and investment in the region even further away.

Still, windfall tax or no, North Sea’s takings aren’t to be sniffed at, as Harbour’s report shows.

Will she, won’t she?

Plans for the Chancellor’s annual Mansion House speech have been thrown into doubt after the General Election was called.

If, as expected, Rachel Reeves enters Number 11 after the July 4 poll it will leave her just days to prepare.

But it could also be an early chance for the first female Chancellor of the Exchequer to win over the City.

Labour is tight-lipped over whether the speech will go ahead if the party wins. A spokesman said he would not pre-empt the result.

If the party  eschews a full-blown summer Budget, perhaps it would be a good forum to throw out a couple of new policies?

Contributor: John-Paul Ford Rojas