Copyright: Michael Elleray/
Copyright: Michael Elleray/

As the cost of energy has increased rapidly, Labour has repeatedly asked the government to help people pay the bills with a tax on the sky-high profits of oil and gas companies.

We put this to a vote today, and the Tories once again showed their true colours by refusing to help people facing extreme hardship. Not a single Tory MP voted with us to help people.

The cost of living crisis has been building for months. All the government has offered is £150 council tax discount and a loan. As a result, millions of people are now skipping meals or unable to heat their homes.

Labour first called for the windfall tax on 9 January, to fund a VAT cut on home energy bills and expand and increase the Warm Homes Discount. Such a step would save families struggling with soaring costs up to £600 off their bills.

Since then, the party has repeatedly called on the Conservative Government to bring forward this change. I have raised it in the Commons many times.

Today was another chance for the Tories to support our one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits to bring down bills.

This measure now has support from business, trade unions, across the political spectrum and most importantly, the overwhelming majority of the public.

The cost of living crisis comes at a time when oil and gas companies are making record profits. BP and Shell alone have made £12.37 billion of profit in the first three months of 2022. Projected profits of North Sea oil and gas firms in 2022/23 are higher than the combined rise in energy bills for every household in the UK.

Conservative MPs must now join the British people in calling for a windfall tax – or explain why they continue to oppose measures that would ease the cost-of-living crisis.

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