Cost of Living: Labor to force Commons vote on unexpected tax on oil and gas giants

Keir Starmer’s party plans to expose Conservative divisions in an unexpected tax, claiming the levy would deliver the hardest-hit families £600

Labor leader Keir Starmer

Labor will try to shame Conservative lawmakers into supporting an unexpected tax on the oil and gas giants this week to help families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

Keir Starmer’s party plans to expose Conservative divisions on Tuesday, forcing a vote in the House of Commons as it claims it would hand over £600 to the hardest-hit families.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed that Conservative lawmakers would try to torpedo the offer.

Demanding a single tax on fossil fuel companies, Shadow Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: country, and the government refuses to levy an extraordinary tax on them.

“It’s embarrassing, it should embarrass them.”

Ministers, including Boris Johnson, have stoked confusion over the government’s position, repeatedly insisting they don’t like windfall taxes but refusing to rule out imposing a flat rate on fossil fuel companies.

Former Labor Leader Mr. Miiband believes Chancellor Rishi Sunak will eventually have to reverse and introduce the tax.

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons



“I’m not interested in their internal machinations about this, because every day that passes when they refuse to do the right thing is another day that millions of people in this country spend sleepless nights about how they’re going to pay their bills,” he Sky News ‘ Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

“My message to the chancellor is this – you are going to do an unexpected tax.

“I believe he’s going to do an unexpected tax because, frankly, it’s an unanswered case. Get on with it and do it, and bring real help to families.”

The energy price ceiling has soared by 54% in the past month – costing families an extra £693 a year and taking average annual bills to £1,971.

Inflation is at 7% and is expected to exceed 10% later this year.

Union Congress head Frances O’Grady backed the call for an unexpected tax and demanded an emergency budget to help families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

She said: “What we need is for the chancellor, who has sadly gone bankrupt with working families, to come back with this unexpected tax on energy companies that would provide some immediate relief.”

But Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng again renewed his opposition to the plan.

Asked if the government would support the Labor candidacy, he insisted: “Of course not.”

He told BBC1’s Sunday Morning programme: “I don’t believe in windfalls because what you’re taxing is investment in jobs, you’re taxing investment in wealth creation, you’re taxing investment in new technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng


Zuma Press/PA Images)

“We want to see more investment. We don’t want to see taxes that essentially act against any investment incentive.”

Asked about divisions between him and Sunak, who kept open the option of an unexpected tax, Kwarteng told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge program on Sunday: “I have always argued against it publicly and privately.

“But as every chancellor I can remember has said, four months ahead of the budget, no option is off the table.

“It’s totally reasonable.”

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