All along Boris Johnson turning around saying the windfall energy tax would be terrible
Boris Johnson has for months balked at the idea of an unexpected tax on oil and gas giants amid mounting calls for a tax to fund aid for Britons struggling with the cost of living crisis
Image: Getty Images)
Boris Johnson’s government is poised to announce an unexpected tax on oil and gas giants as ministers scramble to address rising pressures on the cost of living.
Despite months of opposition to the idea of a one-off levy on fossil fuel company profits, Rishi Sunak is expected to do a U-turn to fund a support package for struggling Brits.
The announcement was brought forward after the Queen’s Jubilee as the Prime Minister tries to get away from his partygate woes.
A Tory source said on Wednesday that the case for an unexpected tax had been “rigorously tested” within the Treasury to ensure “the gain is worth the pain”.
Labor said the Chancellor had been “kicked and shouted at” to back her call for a windfall tax, while critics suggested the timing had been pushed back to distract from Sue Gray’s scathing Partygate report.
Alamy Stock Photo)
Here are the times the Prime Minister resisted the idea.
9 February 2022 – PM says unexpected tax would raise prices for Brits
The Prime Minister said the idea of a levy on oil and gas giants would hit consumers.
He told MPs: “This is a global problem caused by the rise in gas prices but what Labor would do is bash the oil and gas companies now [Interruption.] Yes they would – with a tax that would deter investment in gas just when this country needs gas while we go green fuel.
“That would be totally ridiculous and would increase prices for consumers.”
March 9, 2022 – Johnson says a tax would hamper efforts to divest itself of Russian oil and gas
Boris Johnson told MPs that introducing a windfall tax would discourage energy companies from moving away from Russian oil and gas.
Pushed for the idea by Keir Starmer at PMQs, he said: “The result of that would simply be that the oil companies would raise their prices even further and make it harder for them to do what we need them to do – which, by the way, I think they do.” Acting very responsibly at the moment – namely to break away from dependence on Russian oil and gas.”
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March 30, 2022 – PM says a levy would ‘discourage’ companies from investing
Challenged again to back Keir Starmer’s idea, Boris Johnson said a windfall tax would “deter investment”.
He told the House of Commons: “This is a classic example of what Labor did wrong during its tenure.
“The oil and gas companies are now investing £20 billion to ensure we have a long-term energy supply. I remember the 1997 Labor Manifesto actually saying there was “no economic reason” for more nuclear power.”
He added: “Anything Labor is proposing would discourage investment, meaning higher prices will make consumers and households across the country worse off.”
May 12, 2022 – PM says “I don’t like her”
In an interview with LBC, Mr Johnson didn’t rule out an unexpected tax but said he didn’t think it was the right way to go.
When asked if he would rule out a windfall tax, he said, “I don’t like it. I don’t think they are the right way.
“I want these companies to make big, big investments.”
May 24, 2022 – PM says he’s ‘not attracted to new taxes’
Boris Johnson said he was “not naturally attracted to the idea of new taxes” when grilled over the idea of a windfall tax.
He expressed his doubts about the proposal but insisted the government would “put our arms around the people” as they have done during the pandemic.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/times-u-turning-boris-johnson-27070400 All along Boris Johnson turning around saying the windfall energy tax would be terrible