The Government has Again Refused to Back Energy Sector Windfall Tax

Conservative MPs who failed to back Labour’s calls for a windfall tax on oil and gas producers’ profits as inflation hits a 40 year high at 9% should be ashamed of themselves.

Labour has called on the government to introduce a windfall tax 250 times since the start of the year, and there is widespread support for a windfall tax from experts and business leaders, including the chairs of Tesco, the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee and the former CEO of BP.

Labour’s call for a windfall tax vote was defeated in the Commons, by 310 votes to 248 (17/5/22). Not a single Conservative MP voted for Labour’s windfall tax plan, which would cut household energy bills by up to £600.

This Conservative party has made it clear that they will do everything they can to protect oil and gas companies but take no action to protect ordinary families many of whom are really struggling with a cost of living crisis. The fact that inflation has hit 9% is yet more evidence, as if it were needed, that the Government must heed our calls for an Emergency Budget, without delay.

With inflation at a 40 year high, we are urgently calling on the government to create a more pro-growth, pro-business environment post-Brexit, where higher productivity and more private investment is leveraged in to help Britain lead the recovery globally.

In addition to help with the increase in energy costs, we want to help businesses with a reduction in Business Rates, and to bring forward our energy efficiency scheme to retrofit homes so that they use less energy in the future. Our plan to buy, make and sell more in Britain, to fix the holes in the government’s patchwork Brexit deal, and its Climate Investment Pledge, to decarbonise the economy, and create good jobs across the country, is vital for creating more certainty, boosting businesses and stimulating sustainable growth.

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “For each and every day government fails to act, families are forking out more and more to keep oil and gas profits so high, that producers don’t even know what to do with that extra money.

In the midst of a cost of living crisis, this failure to act is unconscionable. How much evidence do the Tories need that a windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits is the fair and right way to cut bills now? How many more alarm bells on spiralling inflation, painful tax rises and rising poverty must they hear before they act in the interests of the British people and our economy?

Anything less than backing an Emergency Budget – including a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits – to ease the pressure from the cost of living crisis is a failure by this Conservative government.”

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