This week BP has cashed in on surging oil and gas prices, with profits amounting to £9.45 billion, the highest recorded in eight years.
BP closely follows Shell who also reported annual profits of £14.3bn, which analysts believe will grow to £23.6bn by the end of its financial year in June.
The astronomical profits come as many customers are hit with a £693 price increase to their energy bills, surging the price cap to almost £2000 a year. Leaving domestic customers having to choose between heating and eating. Analysts also suggest that the price cap increase will force many businesses to close as they will not be able to foot the overheads if business energy prices increase.
Greenpeace and labour are lobbying for a higher windfall tax on the North Sea oil and gas producers. Raising the overall rate to 50%. The proposed increase in tax would be beneficial in funding households that will struggle with the 54% price cap increase in April. However, Rishi Shinak has rejected any raise of windfall tax as he believes it would defer investment. Shinak added the longer-term windfall tax would be damaging for consumers because it would undermine our competitiveness and discourage energy companies from investing in the UK. That would make us even more dependent on imports from places like Russia and the Middle East.”
However, Ed Miliband, the shadow climate secretary agrees with the windfall tax proposals. “The boss of BP described the energy price crisis as a cash machine for his company — and the people supplying the cash are the British people, through rocketing energy bills. In these circumstances, it is only fair and right for oil and gas producers to contribute to helping the millions of families facing soaring inflation and a cost-of-living crisis.”
Juxtaposition to the oil company’s massive annual profit, the government announced a package of measures to diverge rising energy bills and ease energy stress on customers.
- All council taxpayers in England with band A to D homes a £150 rebate
- £200 loan in October to be repaid with a two-year instalment plan.
You can check the banding of your home and see your eligibility for the above schemes.