Sunak and Hunt put windfall tax on Budget agenda
Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are expected to raise billions of pounds by expanding the windfall tax on energy companies.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor are said to be looking at several options including increasing the levy, extending the deadline, or possibly its scope to include renewable energy generators.
Not only would this raise money to help plug an anticipated £50 billion black hole in the public finances, it would also help restore Mr Sunak’s green credentials amid criticism of his decision to miss the COP27 climate change event in Egypt next month.
He insists the UK is making good progress and that it will be represented at the event while he focuses on the UK economy and the Autumn Statement due on 17 November.
As Chancellor Mr Sunak came under pressure to tax the huge profits being made by oil and gas companies as a result of soaring prices. He introduced a 25% levy on energy profits levy in May, applying to UK profits.
Shell recently admitted it had not paid the levy but this was because of large investments it made in the UK which meant it made no profit in UK waters.
The company reported record global profits of $11.5 billion for the three months to July, though this fell in to $9.45bn the last quarter.
Earlier this month CEO Ben van Beurden called on the UK government to impose a windfall tax on the energy giants to help the vulnerable in society.
Tory party chairman Nadhim Zahawi said today that a windfall tax was an option Mr Sunak would be looking into.
“These are tough decisions and I know the Chancellor and the Prime Minister will be looking at everything,” he said.