Rishi Sunak will put UK energy security at risk with windfall tax, BP boss warns

May 13, 2022, 00:43 | Updated: May 13, 2022, 02:11

Rishi Sunak could put the UK’s energy security at risk, the BP chief has said.

Photo: Aliyah

Rishi Sunak will put UK energy security at risk if he introduces a windfall tax, the BP chief has said.

Bernard Looney has warned that the introduction of the tax will make the UK a less stable environment for investment and block plans to wean the UK off its dependence on foreign oil and gas.

The government has faced increased pressure to introduce the tax as Britons continue to suffer from soaring energy costs.

But Mr Looney explained that BP planned to reinvest all of its North Sea profits over the next decade, following a record first quarter for the company.

Mr Looney added: “What is our view on windfall taxes? A stable and competitive tax environment is an important element in any investment decision – and that is what we have in Britain today .

“By definition, windfall taxes are unpredictable – and would therefore challenge local energy investments. We know this from experience across the entire North Sea industry and supply chain. “

The single tax would target energy companies that have benefited from increased demand due to the pandemic as well as supply problems amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Read more: Boris refuses to exclude windfall tax in wide interview with LBC

Read more: Boris tells LBC ‘we will overcome the cost of living crisis’ as he pledges to support Britons

It comes amid calls for Mr Sunak to table an emergency summer mini-budget over fears of a recession.

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said recent figures from the ONS on gross domestic product would heighten public concern.

“Anything less than rushing back with an emergency budget to help ease the pressure of the cost of living crisis is a failure of this Conservative government,” Ms Reeves said.

His calls were later picked up by the British Chambers of Commerce.

Mr Sunak responded on Thursday, saying: ‘The UK economy has recovered quickly from the worst of the pandemic and our growth in the first few months of the year has been strong, faster than the US, the Germany and Italy, but I know they are still anxious times.

“Our recovery is disrupted by Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine and other global challenges, but we continue to help people where we can.”

Boris Johnson told LBC on Thursday that more aid was on the way.

He said: “I wake up every day thinking about what we can do to help people through this time, just as we have helped people through Covid.

“I think an unbiased person would say that at the moment the UK government has stepped in and come up with some pretty imaginative plans to help people through the crisis.

“We’ve had the biggest drop in production in 300 years.

“We imagined the Covid program and many other forms of support.

“Now that has, in turn, led to a real budgetary problem and so our room for maneuver is not as great as I would like, but we will do what we can to help.”

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