Government 'run out of excuses' to not impose energy windfall tax, Yorkshire MP says, after record Shell profits

Ministers have “run out of excuses” for not imposing a windfall tax on giant energy profits, a Yorkshire MP has said after one firm reported record figures for the first part of this year.

Shell made more than £7 billion in profit in the first three months of this year, as households across the UK are battling to keep on top of soaring gas and electricity prices.

The figures are nearly three times more than the profits posted this time last year.

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The sector is reaping the benefits of rocketing oil and gas prices, which have been pushed to record levels by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and surging demand as economies emerge from the pandemic.

File photo dated 05/11/21 of Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero Ed Miliband

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has now said that the Government is more focussed on “protecting oil and gas giants, not the British people”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has so far resisted pressure to make the firms pay more tax, instead looking to companies making big profits to invest the cash back into the UK.

Reacting this morning, Shadow Climate Change Secretary Mr Miliband said: “Another day, another oil and gas company making billions in profits, and yet another day when the Government shamefully refuses to act with a windfall tax to bring down bills.

“Even the boss of BP has said that this will not impact investment. The Conservatives have run out of excuses, and been exposed for the political choice they are making by not acting.

“The truth is that the Government’s priority is protecting oil and gas giants, not supporting the British people.

“Today voters have a chance to send a message to the Government. Vote Labour for a party on your side, proposing a windfall tax to provide real help to families facing the energy bills crisis.”

Shell boss Ben van Beurden told reporters that the company plans to invest between £20 billion and £25 billion in the UK in the next decade.

“We have a very strong commitment to investing in the UK, because we see the policies in the UK being very supportive of the sort of investments we would like to make,” he said.

“But I should also say that if you talk about these types of investment levels, they do require a stable and predictable financial outlook, it does require stability of policy and everything else.

“It’s not as if we can already now predict how these investments will look when we have to decide on them in 2027.”