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Despite windfall tax and record profits, Shell paid just £15 million to UK, 22p per Brit last year

Global Witness

Despite windfall tax and record profits, Shell paid just £15 million to UK, 22p per Brit last year

By comparison Norway received £6.3 billion from Shell, over a grand per Norwegian

28th March 2023, London – Energy giant Shell paid just £15 million in taxes and fees to the UK last year on their drilling, compared to over £6.3 billion to the Norwegian government over the same period, according to Global Witness analysis of Shell’s latest tax reporting, released today.

This means Shell paid around just 22p per UK citizen, compared to the £1,171 it paid for every citizen of Norway. This £15 million is much closer to the £9.7 million it awarded its CEO in 2022, than the considerably more it paid to most other countries in which it drills.

The UK ranks 19th out of 25 countries for taxes received by Shell last year, with the likes of the USA, Germany, Qatar and Italy all receiving far more from Shell than the UK. It comes despite the introduction of a UK windfall tax that Rishi Sunak, as Chancellor, described as a “significant set of interventions”.

Shell’s £15 million UK payment includes a £34 million tax rebate, meaning it paid just a third of it’s initial UK tax bill. Shell claims this amount also covers part of its UK windfall tax payment. Reports this week suggest that the Prime Minister is set announce a huge cut on this windfall tax.

Jonathan Noronha Gant, Fossil Fuel Campaigner at Global Witness, said:

“In a year that the UK public saw bills skyrocket and millions were plunged into poverty, it is totally unacceptable that a UK based energy giant paid a pittance in tax to the UK. What’s more, British citizens will see how much more Shell paid to almost every other country and be rightfully seething.”

“Governments around the world should help people, not polluters. They need to change the tax system by implementing a people-first tax on oil and gas without the loopholes, like in Norway, and a tax on big bonuses for executives. And if other countries where Shell operates won’t do it, the UK – where Shell is based – should.”

“Despite record profits and enormous CEO pay it’s clear the UK windfall tax simply hasn’t worked. This government has failed to effectively confront the extreme wealth and power yielded by companies like Shell, much to the detriment of its own people.”

In February Shell announced record profits of £33 billion for 2022 and in March that it paid outgoing CEO Ben Van Beurden £9.7 million and will continue to pay further millions into 2023.   


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