Unions have spoken out to raise their concerns about Labour's plans for the North Sea.

Recent analysis has shown that in a “worst case scenario” up to 100,00 jobs could be at risk, were all drilling to stop.

The Labour Party last week vowed to up the existing Energy Profits Levy (EPL), bringing headline tax rates for UK oil and gas operators to 78%. Ostensibly this would bring rates in line with that of Norway, but with investment incentives also set to be withdrawn, sector leaders say the two fiscal regimes would not be comparable.

Union officials have since hit out at the “madness” of the proposals.

Unite regional officer John Boland told Energy Voice: “There are more and more comparisons be drawn to the destruction of the UK mining industry, and we cannot let this happen for the UK oil and gas industry.

“Unite will do whatever is needed to protect its members’ jobs now and in the future.”

A member of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission and former regional organiser for trade union RMT, Jake Molloy, said the industry “cannot rule out” the potential for strike action by workers, like that taken by UK mining community in the 1980s.

“We shouldn’t be using the blunt instrument of taxation to address the process of transition,” Mr Molloy added.

“The blunt instrument of tax can only succeed if there is an operation to tax. The concept is therefore a conflicting approach, shortsighted and ill-conceived.”

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