27 October 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Shell profits: Lack of proper windfall tax an insult to families struggling to pay bills
  • Suella Braverman: Sunak must correct record if he misled Parliament
  • Shell rebate shows government’s windfall tax is failing
  • COP27: Rishi Sunak must not turn his back on progress

Shell profits: Lack of proper windfall tax an insult to families struggling to pay bills

Responding to Shell announcing £8.2bn ($9.5bn) in the third quarter, around double last year’s, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

The Conservative government’s refusal to properly tax these eye-watering profits is an insult to families struggling to pay their energy bills.

Even the CEO of Shell has admitted that oil and gas companies should be taxed more to help protect vulnerable households.

It’s time Rishi Sunak introduced a proper windfall tax and used the extra money to support people facing heart-breaking choices this winter.

Innocent families and pensioners should not be left to pick up the bill for this Conservative government wrecking the economy.

Suella Braverman: Sunak must correct record if he misled Parliament

The Liberal Democrats have called on Rishi Sunak to correct the record if it turns out he misled Parliament yesterday by claiming Suella Braverman “raised the matter” of leaking sensitive documents herself before being sacked.

It comes as Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi this morning claimed that Suella Braverman had “admitted her mistake” and deserved a second chance.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

It would appear that far from owning up herself, Suella Braverman was caught out after she emailed the wrong person.

If Rishi Sunak has indeed misled Parliament on this critical issue, he must correct the record immediately.

It shows yet again that this government is treating the public with contempt, and that it’s one rule for Conservative ministers and another for everyone else.

It’s simply unacceptable that the Conservatives are putting their own party unity ahead of national security.

Shell rebate shows government’s windfall tax is failing

Responding to the revelations that Shell has received a tax rebate while making £8.2bn profits during the third quarter of this year, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

This shows the government’s windfall tax is completely failing.

It could be raising billions to protect public services and help keep families warm this winter, instead this loophole is boosting the coffers of oil and gas companies.

The CEO of Shell himself has called for a fairer and more effective windfall tax. The government must urgently fix their failed policy before millions more in vital tax revenue are lost.

COP27: Rishi Sunak must not turn his back on progress

Responding to the news that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will not attend COP27, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey MP said:

Rishi Sunak does not speak for the British people by refusing to take climate change seriously. He has failed to rule out a new ban on onshore wind, failed to help households make their homes warmer and is now failing to attend the COP summit.

It flies in the face of the UK’s proud tradition of leading the world in our response to the climate change. As energy prices continue to spiral, now is the time to be committing to renewable energy harder and faster than ever before. We cannot allow the damaging effects of climate change to be passed onto our children.

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  • nigel hunter 27th Oct '22 - 11:46pm

    Sunak NOT going to COP27 when we are still ‘in charge’ is a bad look.

  • David Evans 28th Oct '22 - 8:58am

    Shell are just one of many companies and bodies that should be paying massive windfall taxes, super profit surcharges or whatever we need to call them to make them pay their fair share for what is needed to get us through the energy crisis.

    By now we should have a detailed thought through policy setting out what should be done to make sure all organisations and individuals who have made a killing through no more than being in the right place at the right time to exploit the situation.

    It should be about to go to a special conference to discuss, *improve* and ratify its content, but most of all, it should set out what none of the other parties have set out, exactly what the Lib Dems will do when in government to make sure they all pay up, irrespective of how little the Conservatives do now.

    Some with faint hearts (including most Tories and Labour supporters) will portray it as backdating taxes and somehow impossible and reprehensible, others would not want us to tie our parliamentarians down with a real commitment, but that would be essential to make it work and also have the benefit of making sure it got real media coverage.

    Of course, FCC and Federal Board need to change to get this through. Have they the courage to do it?

  • Shell presents an interesting target and it is obvious many have missed the detail and simply grasped on to the headline figure.
    Whilst Shell globally has made £8.2bn in profit, by the size of its (unspecified) investments in the UK it has effectively made no taxable profit on its UK business.

    So should the UK impose a windfall tax on profits made overseas and thus made those profits subject to double taxation in potential contravention of international tax treaties.

  • Alistair Carmichael MP said: “If Rishi Sunak has indeed misled Parliament on this critical issue, he must correct the record immediately.”

    The day that happens I’ll be using Unicorn ‘droppings’ on my rhubarb plants..

  • Nonconformisradicql 28th Oct '22 - 1:56pm

    “Whilst Shell globally has made £8.2bn in profit, by the size of its (unspecified) investments in the UK it has effectively made no taxable profit on its UK business.”
    Might it have loaded its world expenses on its UK operations? If I understand correctly this is a commonly used tactic to reduce/avoid tax payable in countries with higher rates of corporation tax.

  • @Nonconformisradicql
    I would hope the UK government’s criteria for “windfall tax avoidance investment” would exclude such “investment”…

    However, given Shell moved its HQ to London in January 2022, there should be some UK taxation due on the rest-of-the-world profits. Which does raise the question about whether the UK should apply windfall taxation on such profits.

  • Helen Dudden 29th Oct '22 - 6:30am

    Massive pay outs to shareholders and not enough investment. I believe public energy suppliers were mot meant to be used for large shareholders payouts.
    Many CEOs on paychecks of millions plus. The situation many are placed in with very unwell family members. This is worse than the days of the work house.

  • Brian Duncan 29th Oct '22 - 11:24am

    @Helen Dudden
    “Massive payouts to shareholders…”
    As I understand it, shareholders are getting payouts of 21 pence per share every 3 months. Each share is currently valued at 2387 pence. Therefore the annual rate of return to shareholders is 3.5%. This is below the average for FTSE listed companies.

  • @Brian Duncan
    You forgot the factor in the share price; a year ago Shell was trading at 1683p, yesterday 2404p. So shareholders are doing very nicely.

    There are many companies which return a dividend below the FTSE average, which is what you would expect. Hence why investors will have a basket of shares: some low but consistently performing blue chips and some more ‘exciting’ stocks.

    Obviously, we shouldn’t forget to factor in the stock enlargement/dilution which is normal these days, which also depresses earns per share.

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