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May 26, 2022

350.org reacts to UK government announcing a Windfall Tax on oil and gas company profits

London, UK – Today the UK government announced a ‘temporary targeted energy profits levy’, a 25% windfall tax on the soaring profits of energy companies. This money will be used to provide a one off grant to 8 million people across the UK. It is an important measure achieved through the tireless efforts of people across the country, but it doesn’t go far enough and actually incentivises new investments in domestic oil and gas.

The UK government can and should do more, this proposal is set to deliver a one off sum of £5 billion for families plunged into fuel poverty, but oil and gas giants like BP and Shell are collectively banking profits this year in excess of £12 billion. Today’s package needs to be greatly improved with long-term policies that fix the UK’s broken energy system including a nationwide insulation program and a rapid switch to reliable renewable energy.

Tommy Vickerstaff, lead UK campaigner at 350.org said:

“This increase in relief is needed, but it still doesn’t cover the deficit created by the cost of living scandal, or protect householes from the additional energy price cap rise in October. Millions of families will still be worse off at the end of the year, many forced to choose between heating and eating.

What we’re seeing here is a persistent and deliberate prioritisation of the interests and profits of oil and gas companies over the immediate needs of UK families and pensioners. Taxing fossil fuel companies is a step in the right direction, but after dragging their feet on making this announcement, the government is still proposing just 25% in short term tax on excess oil and gas profits. Even in a time of extreme hardship for UK people, the government is still choosing to tax these companies below the global average.

Another real concern here is the lack of forward thinking. We’re hearing nothing about longer term measures like insulation of housing or investment in renewables and instead the government is offering tax breaks to companies on more UK oil and gas production, locking us into the same cycle that created the cost of living scandal in the first place, and pushing us deeper into the climate crisis. This announcement fails in the short-term and is dangerous in the long-term.”

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Media contact: Mark Raven, [email protected], +447841474125

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