First Minister Humza Yousaf has pledged to oppose Labour’s plans to increase the windfall tax.

Mr Yousaf said there was “extreme anger” from people in the north east of Scotland at the party’s plans for the oil and gas sector.

Sir Keir Starmer has wants to raise the windfall tax on fossil fuel firms from 75% of excess profits to 78% while also extending it to 2029.

Scottish Labour said the SNP was “siding with the energy giants”.

The proposals have faced criticism from the oil and gas industry.

At the Scottish Labour conference in Glasgow on Sunday, Sir Keir promised work in the North Sea oil and gas sector would continue “for decades to come”.

However, the first minister warned that the policy could sacrifice up to 100,000 jobs in the industry.

In a speech at the HM Theatre in Aberdeen, Mr Yousaf said his party would oppose “Labour’s aggressive tax plans for the sector”, describing them as a bid to plug a financial black hole caused by the party’s intention to build new nuclear plants.

He said: “We support a windfall tax in order to protect people during a cost of living crisis.

“But Labour’s plans to increase this to pay for new nuclear power plants in England is plain wrong and will cost tens of thousands, if not more, jobs in the north east.”

He accused the UK Labour leader of “doubling down on austerity” with his plans if the party wins the upcoming general election.

Mr Yousaf said he favoured maintaining the windfall tax at the current 75% level.

The first minister said the SNP wanted to “unleash the potential of Scotland’s green revolution” while supporting jobs in the oil and gas industry.

But he said Labour’s plans would “raid the north-east energy industry” to a loss of some 100,000 jobs.

He said Labour’s decision to “dump” their £28bn pledge and “water down” energy plans showed that Scotland was “not the priority” for Labour.

“Westminster is so broken, so skewed to the right, that even Labour know they can’t win unless they promise to be just as right wing as the Conservatives.”

‘Out of touch’

He said the tax proposals came on the back of Labour announcing it would no longer invest £28bn a year on green policies and it would instead commit to other policies such as wind farms and the clean energy firm GB Energy.

“The SNP will not let the north east go the way that coal and mining towns went under Thatcher – that is exactly what Labour is threatening to do.”

The Scottish Greens said future windfall taxes should be used to fund jobs in renewable energy and speed up the transition from fossil fuels, and not to “bankroll nuclear energy programmes in England or create a smokescreen for further oil and gas exploration”.

However, Labour’s Scottish secretary Ian Murray said Mr Yousaf’s position was “completely incoherent and out of touch”.

“Last year energy giants recorded profits of £33bn while a third of households in Scotland were living in fuel poverty,” he said.

Ian Murray criticised Humza Yousaf for being “out of touch”

“But after a dizzying series of U-turns, it seems the SNP has decided to side with the energy giants.

“It beggars belief that Humza Yousaf thinks that a person earning more than £28,500 deserves to pay more tax but energy giants earning billions in profits from soaring bills should pay less.”

He said the oil and gas sector would continue to play a “key role” in the UK energy system for decades to come, and Labour’s plans would “ensure” that future jobs and opportunities came to the north east.

The Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the first minister displayed “breathtaking hypocrisy masquerading as a friend of Scotland’s oil and gas industry when he and the SNP have abandoned it at every opportunity.”

He cited the party’s opposition to new oil and gas licences and its refusal to back the Rosebank development.

Located 80 miles west of Shetland, Rosebank is the UK’s largest untapped oil field and is estimated to contain up to 300 million barrels of oil.

Regulators granted development and production approval to owners Equinor and Ithaca Energy in September.

Mr Ross also said Labour’s plans would be “catastrophic” for the region, adding: “You can barely put a cigarette paper between Labour and the SNP on this.”

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