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by Louise Wilson
16 March 2022
SNP windfall tax plans ‘half-baked’

SNP windfall tax plans ‘half-baked’

The SNP’s proposals to introduce a windfall tax are “half-baked”, Labour has said.

SNP MPs will today urge the UK Government to tax all major companies who have made excessive profits throughout the pandemic, to fund more support for families facing rising household bills.

Business spokesperson Stephen Flynn said a such a move would ensure companies “shoulder the burden” of the cost-of-living crisis. 

But Labour said the nationalists’ plans lacked clarity and urged them instead to back its own proposals for taxing energy firms.

The call has been made ahead of the UK Government’s spring statement next Wednesday.

The SNP say a "broad-based tax" would be the best approach, targeting large retailers like Amazon, as well as energy companies.

The party will also use its opposition debate time to call for VAT on energy bills to be scrapped and the replacement of the rebate scheme with emergency cash payments.

Energy bills are set to rise by an average £693 from April after Ofgem announced an increase to the energy price cap.

Households are also facing increased prices elsewhere due to rapid inflation.

Flynn said this, combined with cuts to social security, was “leaving the UK completely exposed”.

He said: “The SNP is calling for a broad-based windfall tax on all major companies that have made excessive profits during the pandemic and energy crisis. It is only right that companies making these huge profits shoulder the burden that families face.

“This must be a balanced approach across companies, which recognises investment in communities, rather than the ill-considered smash-and-grab on the north east of Scotland proposed by others.”

Labour proposed a windfall tax specifically on oil and gas companies in January, following the news firms were making record profits.

Responding to the SNP’s fresh calls, MP Ian Murray said: “After weeks of defending their shameful decision to side with the Tories in failing to back Labour’s windfall tax on oil and gas producers, the SNP still won’t back our plan.

“Instead, they have outlined half-baked proposals, with no answers on who would be taxed, how much they would be taxed, and how much money would be raised.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar previously pressured First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to back a windfall tax at FMQs.

Sturgeon said had no “ideological objection” to it, but warned it was important to ensure it “doesn't just fall on people, jobs and investment in the north east of Scotland”.

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