Gas crisis prompts mass support for windfall tax

Major backing comes in light of higher bills, cold homes and monster fossil fuel profits
  Published:  14 Feb 2022    |      1 minute read

A massive 76% [1] of people want to see fossil fuel companies divert profits to help people struggling to pay rising energy bills, according to a national YouGov poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth. 

The campaigning group say that money from a windfall tax should be used as one-off payment to people struggling with energy bills this winter and beyond. In the long run, it could help install all-important insulation to Britain’s notoriously inefficient housing, reducing future energy bills.

The tax would apply to all North Sea oil and gas producers, which include BP and Shell, but also many others. BP reported a $12.8 billion profit in 2021 [2], while Shell reported profits of $6.4 billion in the final quarter of last year [3], both driven by a global surge in gas and oil prices.

Jamie Peters, Director of Campaigns for Friends of the Earth, said: 

“People rightly worried about how they are going to afford energy bills have looked at these excessive profits from the oil and gas giants in disbelief.

“When the choice for thousands across the nation is between eating or heating, we have to question how this is acceptable. Channelling some of those obscene profits into making energy bills more affordable would make a world of difference to people’s lives. It’s no wonder the public are demanding a windfall tax to fund much needed protection for those most at risk of soaring bills.

“The increases in fuel bills are caused by a global spike in gas prices, which is being passed on to households because of our reliance on gas. We need to stop exploiting the earth’s resources and get off expensive, damaging gas once and for all by investing in a massive programme of renewable energy and home insulation.”

ENDS 

Notes

  1. Survey data from YouGov Plc.  All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,771 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 11th February 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)
  2. BP profits: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/bp-records-highest-profit-eight-years-2021-2022-02-08/
  3. Shell profits: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/shell-again-boosts-dividend-buybacks-profits-soar-2022-02-03/