Boris Johnson says Labour want to ‘clobber’ oil and gas profits as he defends fossil fuel giants

Labour leader says ‘loan shark chancellor’ is conning public with £200 energy bill rebate

Adam Forrest
Wednesday 09 February 2022 13:23
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Boris Johnson says Labour wants to ‘clobber’ oil and gas profits

Boris Johnson has accused Labour of wanting to “clobber” oil and gas companies’ profits, as he again rejected a windfall tax and defended the fossil fuel giants at PMQs.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the prime minister of letting down families hit by the cost of living crisis – calling the government’s £200 energy bill rebate a “scam” and a “con”.

Sir Keir said: “The government is insulting people’s intelligence by pretending it’s giving them a discount. But it’s not. It’s a con, a buy now pay later scheme. A dodgy loan, not a proper plan.”

The Labour leader added: “When his donors give him cash to fund his lifestyle and tell him he has to pay it all back later – are they giving him a loan or a discount?”

Mr Johnson replied: “Our plan to tackle the cost of living is faster, more efficient and more generous than anything that they have set out.”

The government last week outlined an energy rebate scheme, giving people £200 off their bills which then has to paid back in instalments over five years from 2023.

The Labour leader said chancellor Rishi Sunak’s scheme would see “billions of pounds” handed to energy companies, before families have to pay it back. “The loan shark chancellor, and his unwitting sidekick, have now picked up a buy now, pay later scheme.”

Sir Keir added: “It leaves taxpayers in debt, while oil and gas companies say they have got more money than they know what to do with. It’s the same old story with this government. Get in a mess, protect their mates, and ask working people to pick up the bill.”

The Labour leader called for a windfall tax on oil and gas firms’ record profits to help people with the soon-to-soar energy bills – but the idea was firmly rejected by the prime minister.

Mr Johnson said: “What they would do is clobber the oil and gas companies right now with a tax that would deter investment in gas just when this country needs gas in the transition towards green fuel. It would be totally ridiculous. And it would raise prices for consumers.”

Grilled the PM over the cost of living, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said nurses face a £275 “pay cut” due to the planned rise in national insurance – calling on Mr Johnson to scrap it.

“Rather than the prime minister and the chancellor scrapping over the Tory leadership, will they do something useful and scrap the regressive hike in national insurance?” Mr Blackford asked.

The PM replied: “We value our nurses, we love our NHS, and we are paying for it.”

Keir Starmer accuses Boris Johnson and ‘loan shark chancellor’ of scamming taxpayers

The prime minister was also confronted about a new picture revealing an open bottle of what appeared to be champagne a No 10 “virtual” Christmas quiz on 15 December. The event is not one of those being probed by the Metropolitan Police.

The photo published by The Mirror showed the prime minister flanked by three members of staff, one wearing tinsel and another wearing a Santa hat, near an uncorked bottle and an open bag of crisps.

Labour MP Fabian Hamilton challenged Mr Johnson, asking: “Will the prime minister be referring this party to the police as it is not one of the ones currently being investigated?”

Mr Johnson said the MP was “completely in error”, and later said: “That event has already has been submitted for investigation.”

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