Shadow Chancellor: Tax North Sea gas firms to help struggling families

20 January 2022, 08:57 | Updated: 20 January 2022, 09:38

Shadow Chancellor calls for additional financial support for energy bills

By Asher McShane

The Shadow Chancellor has explained Labour's plans to help families in Britain struggling with the soaring cost of living.

Rachel Reeves told Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning: “Inflation is at its highest level for 30 years and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

“Labour would take VAT off domestic gas and electricity bills.

"Pensioners and families on more modest incomes are struggling the most. Rising food bills, rising energy prices, the rising cost of filling up the car."

She said Labour wants to help families through a one-off windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas companies.

“Those companies are making big profits because of the price spike and we are saying for one year, tax them a bit more to keep everyone’s bills low.”

She said the plan would raise an extra £1.2bn.

“It is one practical way that government can help people with the cost of living crisis," she said.

Official figures released yesterday show Britain's rate of inflation has shot up to its highest level for nearly 30 years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation jumped from 5.1% in November to 5.4% in December - the highest since March 1992, when it stood at 7.1%.

Most economists had expected inflation of 5.2% in December.

The ONS said inflation was pushed higher by food and non-alcoholic drinks prices last month, with costs also rising for restaurants and hotels, furniture and household goods, as well as clothing and footwear.

The rising cost of petrol and second-hand cars also contributed to December's increase, alongside household costs, especially gas and electricity bills.

Household finances are being squeezed across the board as gas and electricity tariffs have also seen huge rises, with the Bank of England forecasting inflation to hit 6% in April.

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