Boris Johnson says he will look at introducing a windfall tax on oil and gas companies but believes they are not the “right way forward”.
Sage Sunak, Chancellor, is threatening to implement a windfall tax amid concerns that energy companies are not investing enough in the UK.
BP chief executive Bernard Looney said his company would not change its investment plans even if the government imposed a windfall tax. BP announced a 5 billion profit in the first quarter of this year, while Shell made 7.3 billion. Asked about Lunny’s comments, Johnson told LBC: “Okay, you know, then we’ll see.”
He has repeatedly denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning North Africa have been made more than once. “I don’t like them. I don’t think they are the right way. I want those companies to make big, big investments, ”he said. “The disadvantage of this type of tax is that they have to invest in the new technologies, in the new energy supply.
“What I’m saying is that I want them to make that investment. This is the most important thing. They need to invest in providing new energy for our country. “
Sunak told the BBC: “I am not naturally attracted to windfall tax. There are two camps for people. Some people think that windfall tax can never be the answer. Others think windfall tax is a simple, quick answer that can solve every problem. I am not in both schools of thought. I am a realist. I am not naturally attracted to their ideas.
“But what I do know is that these companies are making significant gains right now because of these very high prices. What I want to see is significant investments in the UK economy to support returning jobs, to support energy security. I want to see that investment soon. If not here’s a new product just for you!
Johnson will today urge cabinet members to “bring to life the benefits of the Queen’s speech” as they meet for one day in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Downing Street says ministers will discuss how the new law will strengthen the economy, improve living standards and increase opportunities across the country.
Johnson suggested that the government come forward in July with more aid for hard-pressed families. Her office was forced to deny that more aid would be provided in the coming days after she suggested in the Queen’s speech debate on Tuesday that ministers were preparing emergency budgets to address the cost of living.
However, in his LBC interview, Johnson hinted that there would be additional support in the summer rather than waiting for the autumn budget to work.
“There’s more coming down the track. July and so on, ”he said. “But all we have to do is use all the ingenuity and empathy we have and the financial firepower we have as a result of the strong economic growth that has come out of the epidemic. In the next few years, our growth will return very strongly. ”
His remarks came after the first meeting of the government’s Expenditure Committee this week, where he instructed ministers to come up with proposals to reduce the pressure on the family budget.
Robert Halfon, a senior Tory MP, has joined the windfall tax call to respond to the “huge” suffering of rising prices.
He told me: “I had a Tory MP – I won’t name them – tell me [Commons] Tea room, ‘Oh you always go about it’ as if it’s not a big problem. It’s huge. And I think there’s more to it than partisanship. “
However, the Scottish Tories strongly oppose the idea, which they say will cost the job.