For months now, the Labour Party has been calling for this windfall tax to be introduced, and the money raised to be used to lower people’s energy bills and to invest in transitioning the country to renewable, green energy sources.
With this tax, we could provide £600 in extra support for those that need it most, including pensioners and the lowest earners.
In January, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, and called on him to act immediately to help millions of households across the country with their rising energy bills. I specifically highlighted the Labour proposal to introduce a windfall tax.
In March, I received a reply from Greg Hands, the Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, a copy of which I have posted below for you to see.
Sadly, the Minister could not outline a single policy that the Government was going to enact to help households to cope with their rising energy bills. All he could do was point to the existing, insufficient support measures that are already in place and say that the Government is reviewing its current systems.
The Chancellor’s Spring Statement also did nothing to address this pressing issue, which has made many people across the country have to choose between heating and eating.
Therefore, in order to combat this inaction, the Labour Party proposed a windfall tax as an amendment to the Queen’s Speech in May, which my Opposition Colleagues and I supported wholeheartedly.
However, Conservative MPs voted against the amendment, and it was defeated by 310 votes to 248.
This is a real blow to people who are struggling with their energy bills and another clear sign that Conservative MPs value the excessive profits of energy companies over the health and wellbeing of their own constituents. In contrast, we actually care about their constituents, as well as our own, and want to help them.
The Government has blocked our attempts to provide relief for those who are struggling with their energy bills, which would be especially important before Winter. Despite this, it has offered no alternative short-term help or long-term fixes for the UK’s energy sector.
I can assure you that my Opposition Colleagues and I will continue to push for the windfall tax and other policies to help get people through this cost-of-living crisis.