Calls grow for windfall tax on obscene oil and energy profits

From Compass, the social democratic thinktank:

Compass has responded to this week’s windfall profits announced by BP and Shell by renewing calls for the government to decisively intervene and levy a sensible one-off windfall tax on the energy and oil companies.

With BP reporting a 148% jump in profits and Shell reporting a 70% jump in profits we are renewing calls on government to levy a sensible one-off windfall tax to raise the money needed to help people in fuel poverty. It’s the role of government to actively intervene. As millions of Britons struggle in tough economic times BP, Centrica and Shell are making over £1000 profit for every second of every day.

In response to the recent windfall profits announcements and the failure of both the energy regulator and government to act decisively we will be working with over 120 Labour MPs who support a windfall tax to table a fresh Early Day Motion in the run-up to the pre-budget report.

Compass is proposing a £6BN windfall tax on the main energy and oil companies to fund a coherent package of short and long term measures with £1BN earmarked to immediately help the most vulnerable this winter with their fuel bills, plus £5BN to kick start an adequately funded programme of home insulation starting with the homes of the fuel poor.

In a recent YouGov poll commissioned by Compass over 67% of UK adults supported such a one-off windfall tax.

Gavin Hayes General Secretary of Compass said: “These latest windfall profits reported by BP and Shell come as no surprise. As millions of us struggle to make ends meet, oil and energy executives struggle with a different dilemma, what to do with all their windfall profits, we get record fuel bills and they get record profits – this has got to stop. Extra-ordinary times demand extra-ordinary measures, it’s clear these companies are refusing to treat people fairly, it’s time for the government to decisively intervene and levy a windfall tax.”

Neal Lawson chair of Compass said: “With the economic downturn millions of Britons are struggling – they want to know the government is on their side. If the government is serious about helping people in tough economic times then it should bring plans forward for a windfall tax in time for the pre-budget report.”

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