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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-22505: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 3 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what (a) staff, (b) external legal and (c) other costs it incurred in its action against Ineos and Reach Coal Seam Gas regarding fracking.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 1 May 2019

The Scottish Government did not take “action against Ineos and Reach Coal Seam Gas” as has been asserted in the Member’s question.

However, on 09 January 2018 INEOS Upstream Ltd and Reach Coal Seam Gas Ltd announced their decision to seek a judicial review of the Scottish Government’s preferred policy position of not supporting unconventional oil and gas development in Scotland. On 19 June 2018, the Court of Session rejected their petition against Scottish Ministers.

The Scottish Government does not hold information relating to the staffing costs of this specific legal case. Civil servants do not record the proportion of their time that they spend working on particular matters as a matter of course. Dealing with this case was part of the normal range of duties undertaken by a range of civil servants across the Scottish Government. It is therefore not possible to say what the internal staffing costs for dealing with any particular matter is.

I can confirm that the fees paid to external legal counsel came to the total of £173,928. Court fees came to £1,200. All figures include VAT.