UK government resists new storm tax push as oil companies announce unexpected profits

The UK government has resisted a new call to impose more taxes on oil and gas companies to deal with the cost of living crisis.

A Treasury spokesman, without denying this idea, said it could thwart “billions of dollars worth of investment” and jeopardize Britain’s energy and job security.

“Storm taxes can thwart billions of dollars in investment, both for the safety of our energy supply and for nearly 200,000 industry-dependent jobs,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. Will endanger. “

“North Sea oil and gas companies have already imposed more than twice the tax rates paid by other companies on their profits. To date, the sector has donated more than £ 375 billion. [$464 billion] With production tax, “a spokesman added.

Britain’s energy prices hit record highs this year, with opposition parties calling for a one-time storm tax to help pay support to those suffering from energy bills.

Workers demanded that North Sea oil and gas producers be taxed, and Scottish National Party lawmakers “COVID-19 pandemic or current international affairs.” Most opposition parties supported the call.

Labor and the Liberal Democratic Party have updated their push to tax North Sea oil and gas producers. This adds an additional 10% to the corporate tax on corporate profits, in addition to the 40% they are paying. Calls continued on Wednesday and Thursday as BP and Shell posted higher-than-expected underlying earnings.

Sir Ed Davy, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, calls it “easy,” and Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labor Party, is a “practical way” to help people bill, soar energy prices, and inflation. Said.

Starmer also rejected the government’s claim that taxes block investment: “Storm taxes only affect profits that oil and gas companies didn’t expect, so they don’t affect other investments. “.

BP reported a significant write-down due to its withdrawal from Russia on Tuesday, but after a surge in operating profit, it was up to £ 1 billion ($ 1.25 billion) in the UK against profits in 2022. He said he expected to pay the tax.

The company said it plans to invest up to £ 18 billion ($ 22 billion) in the UK by 2030 on projects such as oil and gas, wind and electric vehicle charging networks.

Bernard Looney, CEO, asked what kind of investment BP would cancel if it was hit by a storm tax. London Times “There’s nothing we don’t do,” he added on Wednesday. “We’re doing these because we’re supporting Britain.”

But in another interview, he emphasized that BP shareholders who are rewarded for their profits are “not a faceless institution.”

“Most people who have or pay pensions in the UK are affected,” he said.

Benvan Beurden, Shell’s Chief Executive Officer, said: Naturally.

“The impact of this uncertainty and the higher costs associated with it is much more widespread,” he added.

“We have worked with governments, customers and suppliers to overcome difficult impacts and provide as much support and solutions as possible.”

Shell posted a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit of £ 7.2 billion ($ 9.1 billion) on Thursday, despite the cost of withdrawing from Russia’s oil and gas activities.

Reuters and PA Media contributed to this report.

Lily Chow


Lily Zhou is a freelance writer who mainly covers the British news of The Epoch Times.