Keir Starmer took Boris Johnson to task over resisting growing calls for a windfall tax in the first Prime Minister’s Questions of the new parliamentary session.
Labour’s leader repeatedly asked Johnson why the government was doing the “hokey cokey” on a one-off tax on energy companies to ease the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis for families.
Starmer told the House of Commons: “Every single day he delays his inevitable U-turn, he’s choosing to let people struggle when they don’t need to.”
Reports suggest that a windfall tax is “wildly popular” with the public, according to internal government polling.
Yesterday, Labour tabled an amendment to the Queen’s Speech supporting a windfall tax, but MPs rejected the move by 310 votes to 248.
In this afternoon’s lobby briefing, the prime minister’s spokesperson confirmed the government plans to resist calls for a windfall tax on the understanding that oil and gas companies “go further” in investing in areas like renewable energies.
Number 10 refused to be drawn into whether the government has set a financial target for energy firms concerning investment.
While Johnson suggested more economic support was coming for the public, Starmer rubbished the claims as words “we’ve heard it all before” on the issue. Labour’s leader pointed to the chair of Tescos and the current boss of BP as people who have said they would not oppose windfall tax.
The prime minister argued that Labour possesses a “lust” to raise taxes on businesses. However, he did not rule out windfall tax.
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