Lib Dems demand “Robin Hood tax” on oil and gas super-profits

Liberal Democrat Leader and former Energy Secretary Ed Davey has called for a “Robin Hood” tax on the super-profits of oil and gas firms to raise money to support millions of families facing soaring energy costs.

The proposed one-off levy would raise an estimated £5 billion from companies that are making record profits from soaring energy prices. This would be used to support vulnerable families facing a crippling 50% increase to their energy bills.

Earlier this week it emerged that Russian energy giant Gazprom’s trading arm, based in London, has cashed in a £179 million dividend. Meanwhile, the boss of BP has described his company as a ‘cash machine’ after soaring oil and gas prices boosted its profits to £2.4 billion in the third quarter of 2021 alone.

Ed Davey, who as Energy Secretary developed a strategy to tackle fuel poverty, says the money raised through this “one-off” tax could fund a substantial package of emergency support to help over 17 million people with their heating bills.

The current Warm Homes Discount would be more than doubled to £300 and offered to all 7.5 million vulnerable and low-income households on Pension Credit and Universal Credit. The Winter Fuel Allowance offered to pensioners would also be doubled to £600 for one year. This would support 11.3 million elderly people who are seeing their state pensions slashed in real terms by the government’s broken election promise on the triple lock.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “It can’t be right that a few energy fat cats are raking it in from record gas prices while millions of people can’t even afford to heat their homes.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey

“A Robin Hood tax on gas and oil barons would provide vital cash to support vulnerable families facing crippling energy price hikes.

“For years the Conservatives have ignored this problem and failed to take the bold action we need to reduce fuel poverty. Boris Johnson cannot look the other way any longer while families face an impossible choice between heating and eating.

“We need a substantial package of support now that provides immediate support to those struggling to get by, while helping people insulate their homes to slash heating bills in the long term.”

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