Last year the oil company BP made more money in two minutes than a middling British family makes in a year. The company made £9.5 billion profit in 2021, that’s £18,000 per minute.
At the same time, the latest figures show that BP paid no tax on its North Sea oil and gas business. Instead the UK treasury paid BP a subsidy of £35 million.
A system of generous tax breaks means that BP has paid no tax on its North Sea business. In fact, it’s effective tax rate is a whopping minus 54%.
The revelation came from climate campaign group Uplift. They’ve done great work uncovering the generous tax arrangements given to oil giants like BP.
Big oil companies are making bumper profits, and receiving subsidies from the government. Yet families are struggling to keep the lights on.
We’ve joined Uplift, and other campaigners, in calling for a windfall tax on the big oil companies. This would help fund proper support for families struggling with higher energy bills.
During the pandemic some companies and wealthy individuals have done very well financially. At the same time, many families have struggled.
Oxfam recently revealed that the world’s ten richest saw their wealth double over the last two years. Last year we found that six companies shared excess profits of £16 billion during the pandemic. We called for a Pandemic Profits tax to help pay for the recovery from covid.
Among those hardest hit by the cost of living squeeze are carers, the disabled and people who have lost their jobs.
A new plan, written by people with experience of the benefits and welfare system, sets out how to deal with entrenched poverty. The Commission on Social Security proposed a guaranteed decent income for all and a welfare system that has dignity at its heart.
These are ambitions we support.