MPs demand refiners' windfall tax

PRESSURE is piling on Gordon Brown to impose a windfall tax on energy firms and use the revenue to families in fuel poverty.More than 70 Labour backbench MPs have signed a petition urging the Prime Minister to take action, but Chancellor Alistair Darling fears that companies would pass on the cost to customers who have already been hit hard by soaring fuel prices.

Graham Dines

PRESSURE is piling on Gordon Brown to impose a windfall tax on energy firms and use the revenue to families in fuel poverty.

More than 70 Labour backbench MPs have signed a petition urging the Prime Minister to take action, but Chancellor Alistair Darling fears that companies would pass on the cost to customers who have already been hit hard by soaring fuel prices.

Sheffield MP Clive Betts claimed there was massive' support for a one-off tax on companies whose profits have increased by 30% as domestic gas and electricity prices have pushed families and pensioners into fuel poverty.


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“They are simply going to make much more money for doing absolutely nothing,” said in a radio interview this morning. “I think it's reasonable for people to say: `'Why should the wages and salaries and bonuses of the executives of these companies, which will be linked to their profits and their share prices, go up astronomically while the ordinary person in the street is seeing their wages go up by 2% and their energy bills going up by 30%?'”

A YouGov poll for The Observer at the weekend found that 67% supported the idea of a windfall tax, including 57% of Tory voters.

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