Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 09:36 UK

Offshore workers' tax assurance

Oil platform - generic
Unions feared the move could have a serious impact on the industry

MPs have said they have won an assurance that thousands of North Sea workers will not be hit with unexpected large tax bills.

It follows guidance issued by Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which said construction and dive support vessels would no longer be considered as ships.

This could have meant workers not qualifying for income tax concessions.

A cross-party delegation said assurances had been given and the guidance was "unfortunate."

Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael said: "Seafarers working in the North Sea can continue to file tax returns as they have previously been doing and there should be no question of any changes which might be made being backdated.

"While we cannot yet have 100% certainty I believe that most of the worst scenarios will not come to pass."

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