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Environment Environment

Increase communities’ share of the Shale Wealth Fund

Last updated: 09:40am 15 January 2019

Finally, we will change the proposed Shale Wealth Fund so a greater percentage of the tax revenues from shale gas directly benefit the communities that host the extraction sites. Where communities decide that it is right for them, we will allow payments to be made directly to local people themselves. A significant share of the remaining tax revenues will be invested for the benefit of the country at large.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.23

Our verdict

Creating a Shale Wealth Fund was proposed by the last government to allow local people from shale extraction communities to benefit directly from the tax revenue raised by local industry and have more say on how it is used.

The previous government conducted consultations on how such a fund should operate between 8th August and 26th October 2016, which saw a total of 170 responses from local businesses, community groups and individuals. On the 11th November 2017, the current government published its response to these consultations.

The response spoke of the principles that future policy would be built on, giving specific details on aspects of how the policy would be administered, whilst acknowledging that other areas need more research. The government argue that the response “sets out a clear framework for how local communities will directly benefit from a share of the tax revenues from shale development”.

However, since publishing the consultation response, the government has not elaborated on the details of this proposal or how a Shale Wealth Fund would be administered in full. Current government guidance on developing shale gas in the UK merely restates some information about the Shale Wealth Fund which was previously laid out in the consultation response.

As efforts have been taken to think about how such a policy would work, we can consider this ‘in progress’.  We need to see movement beyond the statement of principles, to implementation and outcomes, before we can move this policy to ‘done’. Follow this policy for updates!

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