Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Senior Tory demands windfall tax on ‘new oligarchs’ of oil and gas

Conservative MPs are facing fresh pressure to back a one-off windfall tax.
Conservative MPs are facing fresh pressure to back a one-off windfall tax.

A senior Tory MP branded oil company bosses the “new oligarchs” in a direct call at Westminster for the Chancellor to impose a windfall tax on profits.

Robert Halfon warned Rishi Sunak that oil companies are not passing cuts in fuel duty to consumers during a debate in the Commons.

The Conservative MP said oil bosses are the “new oligarchs” due to “earning multi-million pound salaries and getting multi-million pound bonuses”.

He urged Mr Sunak to consider a windfall tax on oil companies to enable the government to cut taxes for the lower paid, or cut energy bills.

It came as MPs prepared to vote on a windfall tax proposal by Labour during debate on the Queen’s Speech, which set out government plans.

Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn has criticised the comments.

Reacting to the comments, Aberdeen South SNP MP Stephen Flynn said: “In recent times we’ve had senior politicians refer to the oil and gas industry as the ‘hard right’, and now we have a top Tory talking of ‘oligarchs’.

“Such incendiary comments are unnecessary at the best of times, but given the role that oligarchs have played in propping up Putin they are just not acceptable.

“Tensions are clearly high around both the necessary transition to net zero, and introduction of a windfall tax, but these verbal attacks on an industry that supports the employment of tens of thousands of my constituents need to stop.”

BP and Shell reported bumper profits earlier this year as energy prices skyrocketed.

‘No option off table’

The Chancellor repeated his claim that “no option is off the table” after calls to introduce the tax.

He told the Commons: “We are pragmatic and what we want to see are energy companies who have made extraordinary profits at a time of acutely elevated prices investing those profits back into British jobs, growth and energy security.

“But as I have been clear, and as I have said repeatedly, if that doesn’t happen soon and at significant scale then no option is off the table.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

Labour shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband said the UK is facing an “unprecedented social emergency”.

On the government’s stance on a windfall tax, he said a “massive U-turn is lumbering slowly over the hill”.

The Labour MP added: “But I say this to the Chancellor: swallow your pride and get on with it.”

SNP energy spokesperson Alan Brown told MPs his party “does agree with Labour on the principle of a windfall tax”.

But he said this “shouldn’t just be a cash raid on the North Sea but rather a wider pandemic profit levy”.

The MP added that “just six companies made a profit of £16 billion in the financial year 2021”.

‘Smash and grab raid’

Conservative MP Andrew Bowie hit out at Labour’s plans for a “smash and grab raid on one of Scotland’s most successful industries”.

He accused Mr Miliband of making “offensive remarks” about the oil and gas industry in his opening speech.

The former Labour leader described profits being made by oil and gas companies as “unearned”.

Oil and gas workers.

Mr Bowie said: “I asked him to come up to my constituency of West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine and actually say that to the men and women who go off in the North Sea for weeks at a time in difficult, and sometimes dangerous, circumstances to provide the energy that keeps the lights on in this place and around the country and tell them the profits of the companies they work for are unearned.”

The north-east MP said Labour’s plan would put jobs “at risk”, adding firms such as BP have said future investment plans may be affected. 

Already a subscriber? Sign in



More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal