London politics latest LIVE: Labor slams lack of windfall tax in Liz Truss £2,500 energy bills cap


abour leader Keir Starmer has asked ‘who is going to pay?’ as he criticized the government’s failure to extend the windfall tax as Liz Truss announced her energy plan.

Ms Truss’s plan will lock average household bills to no more than £2,500 for two years from October 1. It will save households £1,000 per year, she said.

The energy package is also expected to curb inflation by up to five percentage points.

However, Mr Starmer, in response, said the plan came at a cost to households.

He said the plan “does not come cheap” and the refusal to fund it with a windfall tax showed she was “driven by dogma” and “it’s working people who will pay for that”.

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The Labor leader previously accused the Government of writing a “blank cheque” to oil and gas giants making £170 billion in excess profits.

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What can be expected from Liz Truss’s energy bill?

Liz Truss has promised to take immediate action to help families and businesses pay for their soaring energy bills this winter.

Ofgem announced the price cap is set to increase by 80 per cent in October from £1,971 to £3,549, and that is set to continue.

Ms Truss has blamed the skyrocketing prices on Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

She is expected to announce a freeze on energy bills at around £2,500 but this will not be paid for by a windfall tax.

Leveling Up Secretary Simon Clarke told Sky News on Thursday that the government is taking “meaningful action to address the concerns people will be feeling”.

Mr Putin has weaponized gas as a way to break the Western resolve, Mr Clarke said. Britain needs “solutions with a lasting framework”, he added.

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Energy announcement expected mid-morning

It is being reported that the Prime Minister will reveal her energy plan at around 11.15am in the House of Commons.

The announcement is expected to be made in the form of a general debate and not a ministerial statement.

This means the government does not have to publish details in advance and Ms Truss does not have to face sustained questions from MPs.

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Clarke: UK ‘desperately vulnerable’

The UK’s dependence on Russian gas has left it “desperately vulnerable” and “that has to end”, Leveling Up Secretary Simon Clarke has said.

He told Sky News: “The sun is not shining right now, this is a global storm and the UK is like the rest of the West and responding to a situation that is not our making.

“I absolutely believe the state should live within its means whenever possible.

“What we cannot do is just allow this situation to play out without decisive intervention which will provide a lasting framework.”

Mr Clarke said gas from Russia “has underpinned” the UK and that “dependence has left us desperately vulnerable”.

“That has to end,” he added.


Truss to scrap ban on fracking – reports

Liz Truss is set to announce she is scrapping the ban on fracking, the Daily Telegraph reports.

She is tipped to follow through on her leadership vow to end opposition to shale gas extraction in places where it is backed by local communities.

The new PM also wants to confirm she is scrapping green levies on energy bills and declare her support for more North Sea drilling, according to reports.


Energy bills freeze ‘has to be real and funded fairly’

Energy bills should remain capped at their current £1971, Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero Ed Miliband has said.

He told the BBC it is right for the government to introduce a universal freeze on energy bills, but “it has to be a real freeze and funded fairly”.

Mr Miliband claimed Liz Truss’s priorities do not wash with the British public.

“I worry Liz Truss is going to make decisions which don’t spread the burden fairly,” he told BBC Breakfast.

“She’s got a proposal to cancel the rise in corporation tax… that is going to cost £17 billion. We know that our public services are struggling in the most terrible way.

“I don’t think the right priority is massive tax cuts for businesses.”

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Energy companies pay ‘fair share’ of taxes

Oil and gas giants making billions of pounds of extra profits are paying their “fair share of taxation,” Leveling-up Secretary Simon Clarke has said.

“The reality is that if companies are making large profits then of course they will also be paying large amounts in tax to the Exchequer,” he told Sky News.

“There is already a windfall tax which was introduced earlier this year.

”It’s worth remembering oil and gas companies pay double the main rate of Corporation Tax, 40p in the pound compared to 19p as the main rate.

“It’s not as though they don’t pay their fair share of taxation.”


Businesses call for price per unit of energy to be fixed

Martin McTague of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the government to fix the price per unit of energy for small enterprises.

The body’s national chairman told Sky News: “I’ve been in business for 35 years and this is about as bad as I’ve ever seen it. There are businesses literally hanging on by their fingernails.

“The urgency of this cannot be overstated.

“What we’re hoping we see is that the price per unit of energy will be fixed and any of the shortfall will be picked up by Government borrowing.”


What is fracking?

Fracking is a process in which liquid is pumped deep underground at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas or oil trapped within it.

Downing Street has hinted a fracking ban could be lifted in Thursday’s energy bills package.

The pressure of the liquid mixture forces the gas and oil up through the ground to the head of the well. The process can be executed by drilling vertically but the most common extractions are drilled horizontally through the rock layers, which create new pathways to release gas.

Nearly half of the country is mined for shale gas.

There are trillions of feet of shale gas resources deep underneath England and Scotland, but it is unknown how much of this can be extracted.

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Truss vows to deal ‘hands on’ with energy crisis

Prime Minister Liz Truss has vowed to deal “hands on” with the energy crisis ahead of her announcement on Thursday morning.

She is set to unveil the government’s plan to support families and businesses through winter in the House of Commons around 11.30am.


Government’s opposition to windfall tax ‘bogus’

Liz Truss’s refusal to impose a windfall tax on energy companies’ excess profits has been made “purely on the basis of dogma”, Ed Miliband has said.

The shadow climate change secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that it was “bogus” to suggest a windfall tax would damage investment in the energy industry.

“This investment argument is completely bogus; that it would have a damaging effect on business,” he said.

“This is a dogma, and I’m afraid we see a pattern here.

“Now we have a government that is setting its face against it purely on the basis of dogma.”

London Herald