Treasury plays down oil windfall tax
Suggestions that the Treasury is considering a windfall tax on oil companies' profits have been played down, with government officials saying nothing has changed.
News that the chancellor Gordon Brown might consider a levy was prompted by results from oil giant BP, which reported a £5.6bn profit for the first half of the year.
But press reports today indicated there had been little consideration of the plan with oil companies stating they hadn’t been contacted on the issue and the Treasury elusive, telling the Telegraph nothing was ruled in and nothing ruled out.
It is now thought reform of the North Sea oil tax regime is more likely, which was set at low levels to encourage the oil industry in the 1990s.
Earlier this week BP’s results prompted an angry reaction among fuel protestors and motorists. The profits were labelled ‘obscene’ by the Dump the Pump campaign, which called for the windfall tax to be imposed.