16:32 13 January 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron has gone “all out for shale” offering huge tax breaks for councils that are willing to approve fracking projects.
Cameron, who is now being accused of trying to “bribe” local authorities by environmentalists, has promised local authorities with 100per cent of the business rates collected from drilling schemes. This is double compared to their usual 50per cent.
The government believes that shale gas has the potential to generate billions of pounds for the economy, support around 74,000 jobs, and guarantee energy supplies.
Cameron said: "A key part of our long-term economic plan to secure Britain's future is to back businesses with better infrastructure.
"That's why we're going all out for shale. It will mean more jobs and opportunities for people, and economic security for our country".
The announcement of the government’s incentive came after French company Total said that it will invest about £30 million in a Lincolnshire drilling project.
Meanwhile, Energy Minister Michael Fallon supports the Prime Minister’s initiative. He said: "It is only right, when there is local growth and local jobs, that the councils are able to retain more of the business rates in order to help improve or maintain local services. I think that is only fair that local people should see some of the direct benefit.”
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