‘BP says it will continue to invest’ Burley dismantles Truss’ anti-windfall tax defence

Kay Burley grills Liz Truss on windfall tax

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Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss has criticised calls for windfall taxes as Brits face a looming cost of living crisis this winter. Despite oil giant BP raking in almost £7 billion in profit in the second quarter of this year, Ms Truss said companies would stop investing in the UK if the Government began introducing windfall taxes. On Sky News’ the Battle for Number 10, host Kay Burley pointed out that BP chief executive, Bernard Looney, has said it would continue to invest.

Ms Truss said: “The problem with the windfall tax is that it might secure money in the short-term but what it does is put off companies investing in Britain in the long-term.

“They think that at any point they could be taxed and I think that is a problem.

“What we need to show is Britain is open for business.

“We’re a country that keeps to our word of what our taxes are and windfall taxes are essentially surprise taxes that companies don’t know are happening.

“What I would do instead is make sure we’re incentivising the likes of Shell to be releasing more resources from the North Sea to make sure we help the problem that we face which is a lack of energy supply.”

Ms Burley interjected: “The head of BP said that his business would continue to invest if there was a windfall tax.”

The Foreign Secretary continued: “It’s not just BP, it’s the signal it sends to every business in the country that the Government is willing to give you a surprise tax and I think that is a problem for Britain.”

It comes as BP’s UK boss, Louise Kingham, told MPs on the environmental audit committee in July that an energy profits levy would be “really helpful”.

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She said: “We’ve still got a little bit of vagary around the sort of historic price and when we return to the price so I think that will still hinder some in trying to do the detailed economics for their investment plans.

“What we know now without all of that clarity is that we don’t think at BP that the profits levy will impact on the investment plans we have in the North Sea.”

Meanwhile, households in Great Britain will get more than £60 off their energy bills each month throughout winter, as the Government revealed the details of its cost-of-living support.

The money, which is part of a package announced in May this year will come in six instalments over six months to some 29 million households.


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Households will see £66 taken off their energy bills in October and November, and £67 between December and March, the Government said.

The news marks the first detail of how the £400 pound support that then Chancellor announced in May to help people through the cost of living crisis will be paid out.

The support, which also came alongside more targeted efforts for the worst off households, came in response to predictions that energy bills would rise to £2,800 for the average household in October.

But since then the forecasts have got even bleaker, consultancy BFY believes bills could hit £3,420 per year from October, before rising further in January.

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