Exclusive

U-turn on windfall tax? Boris Johnson refuses to rule out levy on oil giants profits

12 May 2022, 07:09 | Updated: 12 May 2022, 07:53

Boris Johnson spoke against windfall taxes
Boris Johnson spoke against windfall taxes. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Emma Soteriou

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out introducing a windfall tax, telling LBC that the Government "will have to look at it".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Prime Minister has faced increased pressure to introduce the tax as Brits continue to suffer from spiralling energy costs.

It comes as Shell and BP were among those to have made record first-quarter profits thanks to the increase in oil and gas prices.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, Mr Johnson said: "The disadvantage with those sort of taxes is that they deter investment in the very things that we need to see them putting them in.

"They need to be investing in new technology, in new energy supplies for the UK."

"But the bosses say it won't deter them, Prime Minister," Nick hit back.

"Well then we'll have to look at it. What I say is I want them to make those investments - they've got to be making those investments - in new energy supply for our country."

Read more: Boris tells LBC 'we will get through cost of living crisis' as he vows to support Brits

Read more: Sadiq Khan demands 2-year rent freeze to combat cost of living crisis

NICK FERRARI AND BORIS JOHNSON FULL INTERVIEW

The PM also compared the types of energy used in the UK to Finland and Sweden.

"Here we are in Finland, we've just been in Sweden, those guys have done brilliantly," he said.

"They've got nuclear power in Sweden in a way that we don't have in the UK, they've got hydro, they've got all sorts of resilience that we don't have.

"We've got to build in that resilience.

Nick asked: "Are you ruling out a windfall tax?"

"I don't like them.

"I don't think they're the right way forward.

"I want those companies to make big, big investments."

The one-off tax would be intended to target oil and gas companies benefitting from something they were not responsible for - known as windfall.

For energy companies, they have benefitted from increased demand due to the pandemic as well as supply concerns amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Johnson further condemned Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, telling Nick that Vladimir Putin "must be stopped".

"This is an act of absolutely barbaric aggression against a country that literally had done nothing to offend him, had done nothing wrong, people were simply trying to lead their lives in peace," he said.

"He is continuing to shell, to bomb, to launch massive artillery attacks against innocent civilians – and he’s got to be stopped."

Nick Ferrari asks Boris Johnson about the cost of living crisis

The Prime Minister spoke to LBC during a visit to Finland, where he signed a historic deal to help the country if they come under attack, as part of an agreement to boost defence and security co-operation.

Both countries have traditionally been neutral and are assessing whether to join Nato.

Asked by Nick whether the agreements are enough to deter Putin, Mr Johnson said: "These are countries that have been traditionally neutral, Sweden, Finland, they are countries that pose no conceivable threat to Russia. But you’ve got to look at what’s happening in Ukraine… that’s another country that posed absolutely no conceivable threat to Russia and yet it was attacked in a vicious and unprovoked way."

He added: "What we are saying today, us and the Swedes, us and the Finns, is that we will come to each other’s assistance in the event of an attack."

Listen on Global Player to hear Mr Johnson's remarks on Ukrainian refugees risking being sent to Rwanda and whether he is out of touch in the cost of living crisis.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Mark Rowley says the number of officers in the Met is falling

Met Police officer numbers drop as force calls for 'thousands of applicants' in new recruitment drive

Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid

Joe Biden cancels campaign event after testing positive for Covid-19

Starmer is set to push for a migrant return deal with the EU

Starmer to push for new migrant return deal with EU, as he seeks to 'renew UK's relationship with Europe' at summit

Keir Starmer faces a challenge over the two-child benefit cap

Keir Starmer seeks to stave off Labour backbench revolt over benefit cap with child poverty taskforce

A man has been shot dead in Kirkby

Man shot dead on residential street close to Liverpool training ground, as police launch murder investigation

Joe Biden has hinted he could step aside from the race against Donald Trump for the White House

Biden hints he could quit election race against Trump on medical advice, as top Democrat calls for him to stand down

The scandal surrounding Strictly Come Dancing has deepened after footage showing former professional dancer James Jordan telling his celebrity partner Georgina Bouzova "kill you" surfaced on social media.

Strictly scandal deepens as footage showing ex-pro telling partner he will 'kill her' emerges

Liz Truss

Reference to Truss' 'disaster' mini-budget removed from King's Speech files after ex-PM complains to civil service chief

Police found "over a dozen" firearms at Crooks' home

Thomas Crooks' father 'called police on the day of the Trump rally shooting'

Cameron Jones left his dying fiancee Demi by the side of the road

Moment driver flees from car wreckage leaving fiancee to die - before he later blames her for horror crash

Kim Johnson wants the two-child benefit cap to be scrapped

Labour MP calls for two-child benefit cap to be axed as she plans King's Speech amendment after policy retained

Adele has played 90 shows in Las Vegas

Adele announces she is stepping back from music after growing to ‘absolutely hate’ fame

Two British travel agents are believed to be the pair found shot dead and their bodies burned in a car in Malmo.

British travel agents thought to be pair shot dead and burned in car in Malmo

Two dead and two children in hospital after house fire in Blackpool

Two die and two children rushed to hospital after house fire in Blackpool

Locals have been warned to avoid the area

Locals warned 'do not open your doors' as huge fire erupts on Birmingham industrial estate

Joe Biden his facing pressure to step down ahead of November's election.

Joe Biden wrongly claims he will cap rent rises at $55 in latest gaffe