The government has been bombarded with thousands of complaints calling on the government to go further to help struggling families in response to its announcement of a windfall tax, a campaign group has said.
Nearly 7,000 members of the public responded to its call to submit responses to the government’s consultation on the proposed windfall tax through the 38 Degrees website.
last month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced at £5bn temporary windfall tax of 25 per cent on oil and gas companies to help fund a £15bn package of assistance for households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
A vast majority of the responses called on the government to go much further to help households.
The demands included making the tax higher and permanent, scrapping the tax breaks for oil and gas companies to invest in North Sea extraction and using the money raised to fund a household insulation and energy efficiency drive, the group said.
Others were frustrated that the government only gave members of the public a week to respond to its plans, the group said.
“Why is this consultation being rushed through in one week? This is ridiculous and smacks of the government sneaking this through,” said one respondent, named Barry from North Thanet.
“Let’s really tax the oil companies, who don’t appear to give a damn about the future of the human race, and put this money towards the security of people now and in the future.”
The consultation closes at 11:45 pm on Tuesday.
Another respondent called on the government to tax energy companies “appropriately,”
“They have declared huge profits, yet ordinary households like my own are really struggling to make ends meet, having to choose between fuel and heat,” said Elizabeth from Newport East.
While a third called on the government to make the windfall tax permanent.
“This is a valuable source of money to spend on energy efficiency and household insulation,” said Lyria from Coventry South.
While the windfall tax was widely welcomed, tax relief measures incorporated into the levy to encourage energy firms to invest in fossil fuel extraction were slammed by climate campaigners and opposition politicians. Green MP Caroline Lucas said any new fossil fuel production acted as a “wrecking ball” to the government’s net zero targets.
A Treasury source told The Independent at the time that the country needs to expand North Sea oil and gas production to ensure security of supply, and that there were other measures to boost green energy.
Matt Richards, a campaign manager at 38 degrees, said: “With people struggling so much right now, this tax clearly needs to be higher. It needs to be permanent.”
“The ridiculous tax breaks that reward fossil fuel investment need to go,” he said. “And the extra money raised should be spent on a massive household insulation and energy efficiency drive – lowering all of our bills whilst helping the planet.”
A HM Treasury spokesperson said the North Sea oil and gas sector is going to be crucial to the UK’s domestic energy supply and security for the foreseeable future – and it was therefore right to continue to encourage investment while continuing the government’s focus on cutting emissions.
“Revenue raised through the levy will to go towards the new cost of living measures announced last month, including £1,200 for each of the 8 million most vulnerable households,” the spokesperson said.