The leader of the British political party the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy, has called on the UK Chancellor to reevaluate the ten percent tax increase on oil and tax profits because of the negative impact on jobs and investment in the North Sea. The Budget increase has sent out the wrong message to energy companies that could damage the long term prospects of the offshore industry. Speaking at a Liberal Democrats' dinner at the Aberdeen Hilton Treetops, which was also attended by representatives of the UK Offshore Operators' Association, Mr. Kennedy said that the ten percent additional tax on oil and gas profits in the North Sea could damage the industry's long term prospects. “The offshore industry clearly believes that the tax changes will have a negative impact on jobs and investment,” he said. This week in the House of Commons, the Economic Secretary, Ruth Kelly, acknowledged that the tax changes could adversely affect smaller companies.