THE government has “fundamentally failed” North Sea workers, with the tax measures in the Budget for the oil and gas industry not saving a “single job”, a leading union official has said.

Jake Molloy, RMT’s oil industry regional organiser for Aberdeen, said the government have “abandoned any concept of a clear energy policy” and are instead “milking the sacrificial cow dry”.

Molloy’s comments came as a new survey showed nearly three quarters of oil and gas workers are thinking about looking for work abroad since the North Sea oil industry has started to stagnate.

Industry website Rigzone has found that 71 per cent of workers across Scotland and the rest of the UK are considering looking for work overseas.

Almost half of the Scottish-based workers do not believe that the tax cuts set out by Tory Chancellor George Osborne will actually stimulate investment in the North Sea industry.

The main reason given in the survey for looking to work abroad was a lack of job security, with 52 per cent saying they don’t have confidence in their career prospects over the next five years. Molloy said the North Sea industry was “being dismantled as we speak”, highlighting the fact that dozens of oil workers are losing their jobs every day.

The Union Official said: “This survey doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, given the way that workers in the industry have been treated.

“You cannot push to improve efficiency and productivity by adopting the slash and burn approach we are seeing across the sector. We should be managing our operations through the current crisis so when the industry does pick up we are able to start running again rather than learning to walk.”

Molloy described the current situation in the sector as “carnage” with pay-offs happening “every single day”.

“You are getting this trickle of workers losing their jobs, 50 here, 40 there, happening across the board every single day,” he said.

“It’s not so much an exodus of workers than a displacement by the industry, which will cost them dear. It’s quite obvious, if there is no work here people will go elsewhere,” he added.

The new North Sea tax measures announced by the Chancellor in his Budget last month included a reduction of the supplementary charge on industry profits from 30 per cent to

20 per cent, as well as cutting petroleum revenue tax from

50 per cent to 35 per cent next year, measures which

Molloy believes have not helped North Sea workers.

“The government have fundamentally failed. The budget has done nothing, not one single job has been saved as a consequence of the tax changes. It was just a giveaway to shareholders.”

Molloy claimed that although the government promised taxes incentivised around finding new oil and said it would ensure infrastructure is in place for when the oil picks up, they have not managed either.

“It is a reflection of what we have seen for 40 years or more. They have abandoned any concept of a clear, concise energy policy and set their heart on milking the sacrificial cow dry.

“We are literally watching the industry being dismantled as we speak,” he said.

The survey results also showed that while more than three quarters of the workers support following Norway’s lead, nearly half of workers feel it is now too late to try and implement an oil fund system.

Mark Guest, Rigzone’s international managing director, described oil and gas workers as “highly mobile”, saying he is not surprised many are looking for work abroad.

Guest said: “If assurances cannot be given by the industry about the mid to long-term career opportunities in the UK’s off-shore market, our survey indicates that many professionals may simply look for work elsewhere.

“This could exacerbate recruitment issues in the sector at a time when the industry has already highlighted a shortage of engineering students graduating from British universities.”

The squeeze in Aberdeen’s oil and gas industry is also being reflected in the city’s housing market.

A survey earlier this week showed that rental costs in the city have fallen, despite growth throughout the rest of Scotland.

While still considerably above Scotland’s average monthly rent of £654, the cost of a two-bedroom rental property in Aberdeen fell 1.2 per cent to £972 last year.

In that time the Scottish average has risen 6.8 per cent, with the average cost in Edinburgh and Glasgow rising 5.3 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively.

The report by Lettingstats said: “All eyes have been on the Aberdeen economy since the dramatic collapse in oil prices and it is fair to say that the rental market does seem to have adjusted accordingly.

“Time will tell if these [changes] are temporary or part of a more significant readjustment of the Aberdeen housing market.”