Boris Johnson accused of dithering over windfall tax amid cost of living ‘nightmare’

Politics

Sir Keir Starmer has accused Boris Johnson of dithering over more help for households struggling as inflation hits a four-decade high.

The Labour leader, who is calling for a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to help consumers hit by soaring energy bills, said the PM “doesn’t actually understand what working families are going through”.

He suggested the government will U-turn over windfall taxes and that every day he delayed doing so he was choosing “to let people struggle when they don’t need to”.

Politics live: PM promises to look at ‘all measures’ to get people through cost of living crisis

The two leaders clashed over the issue after official figures showed inflation climbing to a 40-year high of 9% in April as the energy price cap was hiked.

Sir Keir called on Mr Johnson to “stop the hokey-cokey” of speculation and back Labour’s plan.

He added: “Whilst he dithers, British households are slapped with an extra £53m on their energy bills every single day.

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“Meanwhile, every single day, North Sea oil and gas giants rake in £32m of unexpected profit.

“So many people are living through this nightmare and they feel totally abandoned by this government.”

Sir Keir cited evidence that some business leaders and Tory MPs were now backing the windfall tax plan.

The PM hit back by saying that Labour’s plans were “always and everywhere to raise taxes on businesses”.

But he added: “Of course we will look at all the measures that we need to take to get people through to the other side but the only reason we can do that is because we took the tough decisions that were necessary during the pandemic.”

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