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Economist says oil directors should take a pay cut to safeguard North Sea jobs

A top economist has made the suggestion that the directors of oil companies should lower their own pay in order to protect offshore jobs based in the North Sea.

Speaking to The National, Robert Gordon University’s professor Alex Russell said that oil companies should not have to pay any tax on North Sea investment if they commit to the sector.

His comments came as oil prices showed signs of increasing after a plunge in the weeks before, just as the Organisation of Oil Producing Companies indicated that it may reach an agreement on freezing current oil output later in April.

Professor Russell suggested that directors and suppliers should realise that they are supposed to work together and support one another, and put forward an argument that the salaries of oil company directors and regulators could be reviewed for the benefit of the wider oil sector.

He went on to propose that oil directors take a 20-40% reduction in their current salaries, noting that they would still be taking home a decent amount of money, and that the money saved could be used to save jobs in the North Sea.

Russell admitted that this would be a radical move, and mused as to whether the directors would be willing to cut their own salaries, noting that they tend to be more concerned about paying dividends than investing in the industry that makes products like Shell Omala S2 G 320 available.

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