HMT minutes you'll never see...
FROM: PRIVATE OFFICE
DATE: APRIL 1 2011
INDUSTRY RESPONSE TO BUDGET'S NORTH SEA OIL TAX PLAN
Yesterday's mugging by oil industry officials of the Secretary of State for Energy, the Secretary of State for Scotland, our own Economic Secretary and the Energy Minister has forced a potentially tricky meeting upon us. BBC press coverage here and more partisan Scottish coverage here.
Lines to take:
- "Removing oil-rich North African dictators doesn't come cheap."
- Go Mother Theresa by referring to 'thoughts' of recommending to the PM that he consider additional energy levies to finance other noble causes in, say, the Ivory Coast, or Haiti. If necessary echo UN Resolution 1973: "Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties".
- Cite absolute necessity (to all) of avoiding accusations of double standards at a sensitive time.
A full Department of Energy and Climate Change briefing, including industry offical profiles, is expected shortly.