Labour seeks to increase pressure on Tory MPs with windfall tax Commons vote

BP and Shell reported bumper profits earlier this year as energy prices skyrocketed.

Richard Wheeler
Tuesday 17 May 2022 09:35
Conservative MPs are facing fresh pressure to support a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producers in a bid to cut energy bills (Yui Mok/PA)
Conservative MPs are facing fresh pressure to support a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producers in a bid to cut energy bills (Yui Mok/PA)

Conservative MPs are facing fresh pressure to support a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producers in a bid to cut energy bills.

Labour on Tuesday will seek to force a Commons vote on its amendment which expresses regret at the omission of the policy from the Queen’s Speech.

It comes as MPs debate “tackling the short-term and long-term cost of living increases” on day five of the Queen’s Speech debate.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently told the BBC he is not “naturally attracted” to a windfall tax, but he would be “pragmatic about it” in light of the profits for such companies due to elevated prices.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he is not ‘naturally attracted’ to a windfall tax, but he would be ‘pragmatic about it’ (Oli Scarff/PA)

BP and Shell reported bumper profits earlier this year as energy prices skyrocketed.

In February, MPs supported a Labour motion for the new windfall tax to be imposed on North Sea producers to fund a support package for families and business.

But Conservative MPs abstained and the Government was not compelled to act as the motion was non-binding.

Ed Miliband, shadow climate change and net zero secretary, said of Tuesday’s vote: “As energy bills rise by record amounts for millions of families, it is shameful that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak still refuse to back a windfall tax that could help tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

As energy bills rise by record amounts for millions of families, it is shameful that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak still refuse to back a windfall tax that could help tackle the cost-of-living crisis

Ed Miliband

“Today, Labour will give MPs another chance to support our one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits to bring down bills.

“This fair and principled measure now has support from business, trade unions, across the political spectrum and most importantly, the overwhelming majority of the public.

“Conservative MPs must now join the British people in calling for a windfall tax – or explain why they continue to oppose measures that would ease the cost-of-living crisis.”

The Northern Ireland Secretary said the UK Government would keep the policy “under review” if oil and gas companies did not invest in new energy infrastructure.

Brandon Lewis made the comments after being told on ITV’s Good Morning Britain that BP bosses had said they did not object to a windfall tax.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis (PA)

“I think some of the predictions that we’ve seen Labour put through about what a windfall tax could bring in is somewhat over-inflated,” said Mr Lewis.

“But look, the reality is that we want businesses investing. You’re quite right, I understand what the chairman of BP outlined, but that is one company.

“The Chancellor, the Prime Minister have to look at the entire sector.

“The Chancellor, I think in just the past couple of days, has outlined that he wants to see those investments coming through but he will keep this under review.

“If we don’t see the investments coming through, then he takes nothing off the table.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in