PM says Government is 'helping people in any way we can' as he's grilled on windfall tax

18 May 2022, 13:07 | Updated: 18 May 2022, 13:14

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Boris Johnson insisted the Government was looking "at all the measures that we need to take to get people through" the cost-of-living crisis as he was grilled on a windfall tax.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Prime Minister was quizzed by Sir Keir Starmer on his position on the tax, which the Labour leader said "would raise billions of pounds, cutting energy bills across the country".

It comes after it was revealed inflation hit a 40-year high in April.

Sir Keir insisted during PMQs that the reluctant Prime Minister would make an "inevitable U-turn" on the one-off tax on oil and gas firms.

READ MORE: Inflation soars to 40-year high as Sunak 'plans income tax cuts and to slash energy bills'

READ MORE: Detective on £40k 'struggles to feed her child at end of month' amid cost of living crisis

He said: "He doesn't actually understand what working families are going through in this country. Struggling about how they're going to pay their bills.

"Whilst he dithers British households are slapped with an extra £53 million on their energy bills every single day. Meanwhile every single day North Sea oil and gas giants rake in £32 million in unexpected profits.

"Doesn't he see that every single day he delays his inevitable U-turn, he's going to do it, he's choosing to let people struggle when they don't need to."

Mr Johnson claimed the Government was helping people with the cost-of-living crisis "in any way that we can".

He said: "In July we will have the biggest tax cut for 10 years, £330 cut on average for 30 million people who are paying National Insurance Contributions and the reason we can do that is because we have a strong and robust economy.

"I'm going to look at all measures in future to support, of course I am, but the only reason we can do that, the only reason our companies are in such robust health is because of the decisions that this Government has taken."

Sir Keir said Mr Johnson could not make his mind up on the issue, reeling off a list of Tory MPs and company bosses who support a windfall tax and adding: "On the other side? The member for North East Somerset (Jacob Rees-Mogg), when he's not sticking notes on people's desks like some overgrown prefect is dead set against it."

Mr Johnson accused the Labour Party of having a "lust to raise taxes".

He said: "We don't want to do it, of course we don't want to do it, we believe in jobs and we believe in investment and we believe in growth. As it happens, the oil companies concerned are on track to invest about £70 billion into our economy over the next few years, they're already taxed at a rate of 40%."

Mr Johnson added: "Of course we will look at all sensible measures but we will be driven by considerations of growth, investment and employment."