Belfast Telegraph

Fracking tax cut plans premature, says Alliance

Alliance environment spokesperson Anna Lo says the proposed tax cuts for firms involved in the extraction of shale gas is premature given the green concerns that remain about the process.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposals would reduce the tax on the income that these firms create from 62% to 30%.

Fracking involves creating small explosions underground then injecting water and chemicals to release gas trapped in cavities in shale rock.

Australian mining firm Tamboran Resources has carried out preliminary analysis on a site in the south west of Co Fermanagh and in north Leitrim.

It claims Fermanagh's natural gas field could provide up to 50 years of gas supply, create thousands of jobs and generate millions of pounds in tax revenue.

However, there are a growing number of people who are opposed to fracking.

The Alliance MLA said: "These proposals are premature given the environmental concerns of the fracking process that are yet to be addressed.

"We need to wait until proper scientific research is carried out on the fracking process before it is promoted.

"Given the potential risks to both our health and the local environment, the Government must put a halt to any licences for shale gas extraction until its consequences can be properly examined," Ms Lo added.

"We should be looking to invest in renewable energy rather than in another fossil fuel. The UK has a lot of potential for tidal and wind power and I would encourage the Government to concentrate on these rather than fracking which is unproven and still has question marks hanging over it."

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