The Labour Party has hit out at Boris Johnson’s government for failing to subsidise rising energy bills.
The party has called for the Tories to introduce a Windfall Tax on the profits of energy firms, as Starmer accused Johnson of “protecting energy profits, not working people”.
The Labour leader said: “BP made £9.5 billion, Shell made £14 billion. In their own words, ‘more money than they know what to do with.
“Since then the international price of oil and gas has sky-rocketed and so will their profits.
“When will the Prime Minister admit he has got this badly wrong, put a Windfall Tax on those super-profits and use the money to cut household energy bills.”
Johnson hit back by claiming such an action would lead to higher household bills.
The PM said: “The net result of that would simply be to see the oil companies put their prices up yet higher.
“And…make it more difficult for them to do what we need them to do and which I think by the way they are doing very responsibly at the moment and that is divesting from dependence on Russian oil and gas.
“That is the way forwards for this country. It is to take a sober responsible approach and end our dependence on hydrocarbons altogether and particularly Russian hydrocarbons.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged to provide most households with £350 to help with rising energy costs, comprising of a £150 discount on council tax bills for 80% of homes and £200 off energy bills in October. However customers will have to pay this back over the next five years.
Starmer said these measures gamble that energy costs will drop quickly after a short spike, which is unlikely to happen.
He added: “When will the Prime Minister force the Chancellor into a u-turn.”
Other Labour MPs have been vocal about the UK’s energy policy.
Chris Bryant, MP for Rhondda, wrote on Twitter that it’s “bewildering that Johnson refuses to impose a windfall tax on energy companies to support families.”
Meanwhile Preet Kaur Gill, shadow international development secretary, echoed Starmer by writing that “The PM must put a windfall tax on profits, use the money to cut energy bills and stop protecting companies & start supporting working people.”