Windfall tax: SNP 'couldn’t bring themselves to vote' says O'Kane
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Scottish Labour’s Paul O’Kane slammed SNP MPs over their refusal to back proposals for a windfall tax. As energy bills in the UK double in prices, many have been pushing for big oil to help to pay for it, as many Scots cannot afford the dramatic price hike. SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon refused to back the windfall tax on billion-pound energy companies.
Mr O’Kane said: “And to go back to the point, I think about a windfall tax, Labour has advocated a windfall tax on the eyewatering profits of the oil companies.
“Unfortunately last week the SNP MPs in Westminster couldn’t bring themselves to vote for that.
“You know, at the end of the day who are they really standing up for?
“They say stronger for Scotland but in reality voting for a windfall tax, that would be truly stronger for Scotland and for Scottish people.”
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Shadow Scotland Secretary Ian Murray said: “The boss of BP has described the energy price crisis as a cash machine for his company – unfortunately its families across the country providing that cash.”
“With multi-million-pound profits for these international corporations, it is utterly shameful that the SNP has sided with the Tories in blocking Labour’s windfall tax on oil and gas companies.”
“It is no surprise the Tories have sided with big business, but it’s incredibly disappointing the SNP has decided to do the same.
“Labour’s plan to tackle energy bills would save £200 for most households in Scotland and £600 for the 815,000 households hardest hit by the cost of living crisis.”
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It has been reported that by the end of 2021 energy company BP made £9.5b in consumer profits.
Scottish Greens also backed the vote, but SNP MPs refused to vote on the windfall tax altogether.
SNP MP Richard Thomson said: “I am sorry to say that I have not heard anything to persuade me why a one-off smash and grab on the North sea industry is the best way to deal with this crisis.”
When pressed at Holyrood, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she believed in “fair” taxation, but warned the “burden” should “not fall only on people, jobs, and investment in the north-east of Scotland”.
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to back the windfall tax on energy companies, instead, Rishi Sunak announced a financial aid scheme worth £2b to help contribute to families suffering from increasing prices to gas.
Labour Party leader Anas Sarwar has been pushing for the taxation of mega-wealthy energy companies so that Scotts who are living on the breadline do not plunge further into poverty.
Mr Sarwar even wrote to SNP MPs to ask them to reconsider their position on the matter.
Mr Sarwar said: “Families across Scotland are being failed by both the UK and the Scottish Governments as this cost of living crisis escalates.
“While people are counting every last penny to try and pay their bills, BP and Shell alone are making £44,000 profit every minute.
“SNP MPs claim to stand up for Scotland in Westminster – but when people needed them they sat on their hands, choosing to side with big oil and gas companies rather than struggling Scots.
“Meanwhile, in Holyrood, the SNP Government are have chosen to imitate Tory’s pitiful support scheme while raising rail fares and water charges, instead of using their powers to help those who need it most.
“It is not too late to show some backbone and do what’s right by backing our plans so that companies making billions from the crisis pay their fair share to help ease the pressure on households.
“The SNP must stop playing politics with people’s lives and work with us to fight for a package of support that truly helps those who need it most.”
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