James O'Brien tears apart government's 'ideological' opposition to a windfall tax

19 May 2022, 11:33

By Tim Dodd

James O'Brien hit out at the government's 'ideological' opposition to a windfall tax, asking how they could do so in a "time of genuine crisis" for the country.

It comes amid reports a windfall tax on energy companies has been blocked by Number 10, as it's been deemed to be "ideologically unconservative".

Treasury officials believe that the levy is “politically unavoidable” but are being blocked by the prime minister’s advisers, according to The Times.

James said: "It's astonishing how this kind of politician, very much in the ascendancy at the moment, is perfectly comfortable standing up for example in the House of Commons telling people that they don't need food banks, they just need cookery lessons, or popping up on the telly telling Kay Burley that people just need to get a better job or work extra hours.

"So they'll tell you how to live your life, they'll tell you what they need to but they are absolutely terrified of telling companies that are shelling it, companies that are raking in the kind of sums that look like telephone numbers to normal people.

"They're perfectly comfortable telling some poor soul over there who has an indoor coat that they should have cookery lessons, or find a better job, or work extra hours, or use the value range of food."

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"What are the ideological reasons that are currently driving 10 Downing Street to resist a move that Treasury officials reportedly believe is politically unavoidable?" James asked.

James compared people who are in favour of a free market until their sector needs financial help, to those who are in favour of abolishing freedom of movement until it affects people that they know.

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