Call for larger windfall tax on energy companies after Shell reports record £ 32bn profit
Shell, the Anglo Dutch energy giant, has announced a record £ 32.2 billion profit for the year 2022.
Shell has doubled its earnings from the previous year and surpassing the previous record of £25 billion set in 2008 at a time of sky high energy costs for consumers.
The company also posted record profits for the fourth quarter of the year, leading to a 25% increase in its stock price.
In response to the strong financial performance, Shell has announced a new share buyback program, purchasing its own shares to boost its share price and return more cash to investors.
However, the news of Shell’s profits has been met with criticism amid a cost of living crisis, with some families struggling to make ends meet while paying record-high energy bills.
Paul Nowak, General Secretary of the TUC, has referred to the profits as “an insult to working families” and is calling on the UK government to impose a larger windfall tax on energy companies.
Despite the government’s introduction of a windfall tax on North Sea operators, which was later toughened by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Shell was criticised for paying no UK windfall tax and for expecting a £1.7bn hit to earnings due to windfall taxes in the UK and EU.
Campaigners argue that the windfall taxes should have been greater and the profits should have been distributed to households rather than to shareholders.
Paul Nowak said: “These obscene profits are an insult to working families.
“As households up and down Britain struggle to pay their bills and make ends meet, Shell are enjoying a cash bonanza.”
“The time for excuses is over. The government must impose a larger windfall tax on energy companies. Billions are being left on the table.”
“Instead of holding down the pay of paramedics, teachers, firefighters and millions of other hard-pressed public servants, ministers should be making Big Oil and Gas pay their fair share.”
“There is nothing stopping Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt from making that political choice.”
Shell Chief Executive Officer Wael Sawan defended the company’s financial performance, stating, “Our results in Q4 and across the full year demonstrate the strength of Shell’s differentiated portfolio, as well as our capacity to deliver vital energy to our customers in a volatile world.”
He added, “We intend to remain disciplined while delivering compelling shareholder returns, as demonstrated by the 15% dividend increase and the $4 billion share buyback program announced today.”
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