Labour Party demands windfall tax as Shell profits from Putin’s war

After profits reached £68 billion, the opposition and campaigners accuse the government of letting energy companies 'off the hook.'

Shell made the most money it has ever made in its 115-year history thanks to the surge in oil prices brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Profits rose by 53% to £68.1 billion in 2022, while tax-adjusted earnings doubled to £32.2 billion, prompting calls for Rishi Sunak’s administration to boost the windfall tax on profits.

The £32.2 billion number represents a third of the government’s £100 billion education budget and more than double the government’s whole budget for the environment, which is £13.9 billion.

By failing to levy a substantial enough tax on the “proceeds of war,” the government, according to Labour, the Liberal Democrats and climate change activists, was letting fossil fuel companies “off the hook.”

Labour’s shadow environment secretary, Ed Miliband, claimed that by failing to enact a meaningful windfall tax, officials were “letting the fossil fuel companies generating huge profits off the hook.”

The frontbencher remarked, “But Rishi Sunak is too weak to defend the British people when it comes to oil and gas interests.”

The windfall tax, often known as the energy profits levy, will increase from 25% to 35%, according to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s announcement in November.

This increase is estimated to bring in an additional £14 billion annually.

According to Shell, it paid the UK and EU £1.5 billion in windfall tax charges in 2022. 

However, pro-climate activists and union leaders claimed that it was insufficient to support an insulation drive and more aid for low-income families.

Following accusations that “vulnerable” consumers were being compelled to instal prepayment metres, British Gas has said that it will no longer get court warrants to allow debt collectors to instal prepayment metres.

Even when clients are known to have “severe vulnerabilities,” according to The Times, British Gas has been sending debt collectors to “break into” people’s homes and instal pay-as-you-go metres.

Shell also announced a 15% dividend hike and a £3.2 billion share buyback scheme as the outrage over energy majors’ actions during the cost of living issue increases.

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