Labour has been calling for a Windfall Tax for nearly 5 months to cut energy bills and help tackle the cost of living crisis that’s crippling our communities. Recently, the UK Government adopted it, but was dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing.
When struggling families needed support with skyrocketing energy bills and cost of living – this government turned its back. At every opportunity the government refused a windfall tax and voted against cutting your energy bills. Every Conservative who took to the airwaves attacked the tax on oil and gas producer profits and defended a tax hike on working families instead.
The Conservatives have sat on their hands and watched as oil and gas producers made £4.7 billion in profits while families forked out £16.5 billion in energy bills.
So the audacity of the Chancellor in standing at the despatch box and telling the British public that he “will not sit idly by” while families are pushed so deep into poverty that they “won’t recover”, is as enraging as it is insulting. That’s exactly what he’s done all this time.
I have spoken to constituents daily since the beginning of this cost of living crisis, trapped in an impossible cycle of choosing between food and heating. Many of whom work full time and couldn’t possibly do anymore to bring in an income and yet it still isn’t enough. Wages are stagnate, inflation rising, food prices soaring and energy bills skyrocketing – it feels hopeless.
Families needed action months ago, not when the Tories needed a new headline to distract from the Prime Minister’s law-breaking in the Sue Gray report. You either believe in fairness or you don’t – it can’t be faked. They made it very clear they didn’t believe in it these last five months and it’s clear this u-turn is an obvious attempt to distract from their own failures.
Labour’s analysis now reveals that the Chancellor’s chaotic and incoherent package undermines his windfall tax u-turn, incentivises investment in fossil fuels over renewables and wastes public money that should be better targeted.
It was Labour that pushed for a windfall tax and the government adopted it. It was Labour that said the buy now pay later scheme for energy bills was wrong and the government just scrapped it. It’s clear this Conservative Government is out of touch and out of ideas.
Labour leads, the Conservatives follow.