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‘Chancellor is an oil hypocrite’

Chancellor Gordon Brown’s aggressive taxation of North Sea oil exploration amounts to “manipulative hypocrisy”, says one of the UK’s highest-profile fund managers.

Framlington income manager George Luckraft says Brown’s criticism of Opec’s high oil prices is at odds with his socialist policies.

Brown says Opec is restricting oil supplies and is not investing sufficiently in new production but Luckraft says it is the Chancellor’s aggressive taxation of North Sea oil drilling companies that is responsible for the shortage of new investment in the region.

Luckraft hit out at the Chancellor in strong terms in an interview with Money Marketing. His comments come as oil prices break $70 a barrel and Brown faces pressure to reduce the tax burden on petrol.

Luckraft says: “I am not a fan of the Chancellor. Having attacked Opec for its high oil prices, he is the same Chancellor who has increased taxes on North Sea oil production, and plans to do so further, totally reducing the investment potential of the region. He tries to say things to be popular but the reality is completely different. He is a manipulative hypocrite.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “Gordon Brown’s attack on Opec was a bit strange because the problem is with refineries rather than production. Luckraft is entitled to express his opinion and I agree with him, by and large.”


Millfield sells its offshore business

Inter-Alliance Group (Cyprus), PGMS Holdings and Sterling Associates will change hands in a deal announced this week, reducing Millfield’s annual cost base by 1.5m. Millfield says its total cost base has now fallen from 49m to 30.5m since December 2004. Millfield and De Vere are finalising a strategic partnership which allows the two to act […]

Andy Chapman joins Pioneer as chief executive

Pioneer Friendly Society announces the appointment of Andy Chapman as Chief Executive, effective September 26. Chapman was formerly director of LV Distribution at Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society and prior to that spent twelve years with protection specialist Permanent Insurance rising to managing director. Chris Ide and Wallace Dobbin have been appointed non-executive directors. Chapman says: […]

Let’s rise from the Ashes

England’s success in the Ashes has captured the imagination of countless people who hitherto thought that cricket was boring. What we saw was two great sides showing tremendous professionalism and team spirit as they strove for one of the greatest prizes in their sport.


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