George Osborne has announced that he is to cut the Supplementary Charge - the supertax on UK oilfields - from 30% to 20%. He has also come up with a few other tweaks to the system that will allegedly encourage investment.
With oil prices apparently set to remain low for some time to come, I can't imagine that the North Sea is going to become price-competitive any time soon. If that's the case then there aren't going to be any profits to tax, so the difference between 20% and 30% is essentially nil. Onshore operators are not yet in a position to take advantage either.
Still, the move has annoyed the greens, so I suppose we should be grateful.