Boris Johnson refuses to rule out windfall tax on energy giants as Sunak “stands ready” to do more to help households

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies to help relieve the pressure of the cost-of-living squeeze.

It follows an admission by BP chief executive Bernard Looney, who said his firm’s investment plans would not be affected by a windfall tax.

In an interview with LBC, the Prime Minister said that, while he still does not like such taxes because of the impact on investment, it is something that will have to be considered.

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Pressed on Mr Looney’s comments, Mr Johnson said: “Well, you know, then we’ll have to look it.”

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies to help relieve the pressure of the cost-of-living squeeze.

However, he added: “The disadvantage with those sorts of taxes is that they deter investment in the very things that they need to be investing in – new technology, in new energy supply.

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“I don’t like them. I didn’t think they’re the right thing. I don’t think they’re the right way forward. I want those companies to make big, big investments.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said he “stands ready” to do more to help households with their energy bills when the price cap is increased again in October.

“I’ve always said I stand ready to do more as we learn more about the situation,” he told Sky News.

“On energy prices in particular, the price cap protects people for some months to come.

“But I’ve said when we have a clearer picture about what happens with energy bills, we stand ready and I stand ready to support people further.”

Pushed on why he is waiting, Mr Sunak said the Government announced £150 of council tax rebate for many households in February, and £200 off energy bills in October – a sum that will need to be paid back.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said Thursday’s GDP figures show that the UK’s economy is still “resilient”, but that he cannot make global challenges “disappear”.

“What today’s figures show is that, in spite of global inflationary challenges, the UK economy remains resilient,” he told Sky News.

“The economy is bigger than it was before coronavirus, and over the last few months we’ve grown faster than America, Germany, France and Italy, for example,” he added.

Figures from the International Monetary Fund have shown that the UK economy is growing faster than many of its peers in the G7, but it also fell further during the pandemic.

Mr Sunak said: “I know these are anxious times, and, unfortunately, because the challenges we face are global in nature, I can’t just make them all disappear.

“But where we can make a difference of course we are, and that’s why we’re investing billions of pounds already to support families and businesses through some of the challenging times ahead.”