MPs break ranks over windfall tax

In all, 70 Labour MPs, including three ministerial aides, one of whom has
threatened to resign if Prime Minister Gordon Brown fails to impose a levy on
energy companies’ profits, have signed a petition calling for a windfall tax.

Five junior members of the government have told The Times they are backing
the campaign. They include Rob Marris, parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to
Shaun Woodward, secretary of state for Northern Ireland, who said he might
resign over the issue, The Times reports.

David Kidney, PPS to Rosie Winterton, said he had written to Alistair
Darling, the Chancellor, urging him to find ways of forcing the energy companies
to do more to help hard-up customers.

Rather than a tax on profits, Brown is understood to be in favour of more
payment for pollution permits issued under EU’s carbon-trading scheme – a
measure which would only raise £500m – a fraction of what is needed, according
to windfall tax campaigners.

Further reading:

Energy companies to avoid windfall tax

The Times story

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