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UK's Sunak says he is pragmatic about windfall taxes

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: British Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) Rishi Sunak walks near the Treasury building in London, Britain, May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak said he was “pragmatic” about the idea of a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies as a possible way to raise money to provide more help to households facing the strain of higher energy prices.

“I’m not naturally attracted to the idea of them (windfall taxes) but what I do know is that these companies are making a significant amount of profit at the moment because of these very elevated prices,” Sunak told BBC television.

He repeated his view that no options were off the table if oil and gas companies did not provide significant investment soon in Britain.

“I find there are two camps of people actually, there’s some people who think windfall taxes can never be the answer, And then there are other people who think windfall taxes are an easy, quick, simple answer to solve every problem,” he said.

“I’m not in either of those schools of thought, I’m pragmatic about it.”

Asked about the chance of fresh support for households, Sunak said he had previously said he was ready to do more and he wanted to see how energy costs develop ahead of a half-yearly review in October which would “help us to get the decisions right.”


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