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Energy firms boosted by gas price spikes paid £200bn to shareholders since 2010


Energy firms boosted by gas price spikes paid £200bn to shareholders since 2010

Oil and gas companies should face a windfall tax to keep down consumers’ heating bills, says report from leftwing thinktank

Phillip Inman: Sun 16 Jan 2022 08.15 GMT

Oil and gas companies have handed shareholders almost £200bn since 2010 and should be hit with a windfall tax to cap heating bills that are set to rise by as much as £500 a year, according to a report on the finances of the UK’s energy sector.

Shell and BP are among companies that have seen their profits boosted in the last year as wholesale gas prices rose by as much as nine times and petrol prices jumped to record highs, leading to calls for them to help limit a £20bn bill faced by UK households.

A report for the left-of-centre thinktank Common Wealth found that Shell and BP channelled £147bn to shareholders via dividends and share buybacks over the past decade, with North Sea producers and the big six energy suppliers contributing another £47bn.

It is understood Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, is still considering measures to limit rising bills, including a windfall tax, but with two weeks until the regulator, Ofgem, announces how much a cap on energy bills will rise in April, he has yet to settle on a final package.


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