UNISON calls for windfall tax on energy company profits

A windfall tax on the billion pound profits of energy companies would be a vital step in reducing the UK’s financial problems, UNISON said today.

As British Gas owner Centrica looks set to announce £1.4bn profits, while simultaneously increasing prices by 6%, the UK’s largest union said the government should be looking at the balance sheets of energy companies to find alternatives to counter the austerity agenda.

Mike Jeram, UNISON head of business and environment, said:

“The billion pound profits of energy companies, announced at the same time as massive price hikes for their customers, are an insult to the many families who are struggling to get by as winter takes hold.

“In this time of austerity, it is only right that we ask big companies to contribute more out of their profits.

“The amounts of money being talked about are astronomical, and a windfall tax is just one way the government could intervene to take the edge off the cuts agenda.

“If these companies are going to continue to wring hard-pressed families for every penny they have, just to keep warm, it is only right that their enormous profits contribute to the society that lines their shareholders’ pockets.”

Centrica is the latest in a line of energy companies who have announced massive profits while at the same time inflicting substantial price increases onto their customers.

The union has already condemned energy firm SSE’s decision to increase bills by 9% while announcing £400m half-year profits, urging the government to make good on its promise to keep energy prices down as Winter begins to take hold.