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THE government has not ruled out imposing a windfall tax on profiteering energy companies, according to a minister, despite strong opposition from several members of the Cabinet.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said today that the government is considering “all the options” to combat the cost-of-living crisis, including a one-off levy on firms which have benefited from globally high gas and oil prices.
But ministers, including Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Brandon Lewis, Sajid Javid and Jacob Rees-Mogg, have all criticised the measure as ineffective.
When asked about imposing a windfall tax by Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Zahawi said: “We will look at all the options.
“I, with the Chancellor, Prime Minister and Cabinet will look at every option.”
Other countries have already imposed windfall taxes on energy companies.
Earlier this month, Italy raised its windfall tax on profits in the energy industry from 10 to 25 per cent to shield its economy from soaring energy prices and took steps to reduce its reliance on Russian supplies, which account for about 40 per cent of gas imports.
Yesterday, E.On chief executive Michael Lewis called for more government help for the 40 per cent of people set to be in fuel poverty by October, and the one in eight customers already in arrears.
Mr Lewis said: “The scale of this is simply too big for us to manage.”
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the comments from Mr Lewis “underline how tough the cost-of-living crisis is for families, and how Conservative delays will see the situation get even worse.
“The government must act now by bringing in a windfall tax on oil and gas profits to cut bills,” the Labour MP said.
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