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Pressure is mounting on UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak to levy a windfall tax on UK offshore oil and gas operators, just weeks after BP chief said high commodity prices had transformed his business into “a cash dispenser”.
Labor, Liberal Democrats and some Tory MPs want Sunak to levy a tax on profits from North Sea operators to alleviate soaring national energy bills, arguing the industry can easily withstand the blow.
Rachel Reeves, fictitious chancellor, said a one-off tax would partially fund a Labor plan to cut energy costs for all consumers by around £ 200 this year, with an additional £ 400 taken from bills of over 9million of the poorest households.
The industry has claimed that a one-off tax on UK offshore oil and gas operators would cause “irreparable damage” to the sector and leave consumers even more exposed to global shortages.
But Westminster politicians see operators as a potential source of money to ease the cost of living crisis, not least because industry executives have suggested their businesses are inundated with money.
In November, Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, said soaring global commodity prices had turned his company into a “cash machine”, as it stepped up its share buyback program, thanks to a strong quarterly profit increase.
“When the market is strong, when oil prices are strong and when gas prices are strong, it’s literally an ATM,” he told the Financial Times.
Learn more about the windfall tax.