DrNick

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We could benefit by either a windfall tax or just by upping corporation tax assuming the producers are uk based.
Money can either be distributed back to the people by the tax or benefit system, or by companies reinvesting in the business resulting in pay rises or more jobs.
Basically what’s happening at the moment, and what Sunak is proposing.
Not ideal but I don’t think nationalising is an option so you have to leave the market alone and get the cash by some other means.
Worth also remembering that dividends mostly go to pension funds with big companies…..
 

ChrisHGTV

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We could benefit by either a windfall tax or just by upping corporation tax assuming the producers are uk based.
Money can either be distributed back to the people by the tax or benefit system, or by companies reinvesting in the business resulting in pay rises or more jobs.
Basically what’s happening at the moment, and what Sunak is proposing.
Not ideal but I don’t think nationalising is an option so you have to leave the market alone and get the cash by some other means.
Worth also remembering that dividends mostly go to pension funds with big companies…..
I think one of the challenges of windfall taxes etc, is that the Operators have already starting saying this will impact their ability to invest in/transition to renewables.
 

mattc

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I think one of the challenges of windfall taxes etc, is that the Operators have already starting saying this will impact their ability to invest in/transition to renewables.
It's a bit spurious that surely. Investment plans are made over years. 1 year ago they were not forecasting energy prices to be where they are now were they? Which means they were not forecasting the bumper profits they have enjoyed either. So having made significantly more than they forecast will they be undertaking extra investments...I done think so. Someone high up needs to call that sort of statement as BS and wish that idea as a defence
 

MrGreedy

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I thought it was interesting and totally sickening that Centrica, enjoying bumper profits, were asking and supporting further help from the taxpayer to ease the burden of costs 'on hard working families' over the coming year by providing more support to households.

I bet they are arguing for that. To help continue the mega profits they are enjoying whilst they can, before there is a national pole tax style boycott of paying utility bills!
 

ChrisHGTV

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It's a bit spurious that surely. Investment plans are made over years. 1 year ago they were not forecasting energy prices to be where they are now were they? Which means they were not forecasting the bumper profits they have enjoyed either. So having made significantly more than they forecast will they be undertaking extra investments...I done think so. Someone high up needs to call that sort of statement as BS and wish that idea as a defence
To be honest I think they probably were forecasting energy prices (gas and oil) to be this high, or at least around $100/bbl. The oil and gas industry is cyclical - in my 25 years in it I’ve seen about 4 major peaks and troughs. Pre-covid with the already low oil price, exploration activity was very low which then has a knock on effect. It’s only really been the Norwegian sector that’s kept exploration activity relatively high but even that took a bit of a dive.
 

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We could benefit by either a windfall tax or just by upping corporation tax assuming the producers are uk based.
The issue with “windfall” taxes is that businesses can't plan for them and therefore they add uncertainty to long-term investments.

It would be much better to instead grant licences for exploration / production with the interests of the State incorporated - much like the Norwegian's did - up front.
 

m80

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The issue with “windfall” taxes is that businesses can't plan for them and therefore they add uncertainty to long-term investments.
What can any of us plan for?
We have inflation,
continually changing legislations,
fluctuating Gov't initiatives.
I don't see anything as stable and reliable nowadays.

In principle I agree with encouraging company / corporate investment. But what I perceive is that we are continually being screwed so the elite enjoy greater benefits. I am no socialist either.
 

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In terms of getting the economy and inflation under control a big problem for the government is hysterical media reporting, The only chance of taming inflation is if the public can foresee inflation coming down so that they will settle for moderate pay rises. If they think its's going to continue at a high level or even rise further then it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy as they demand higher pay rises which then stokes the inflationary cycle and causes prices to rise.

The media act very irresponsibly when they exaggerate the extent of people in real poverty. It's a good story whether it's true or not. I must live a protected existence because I see no evidence of poverty in my local town. People still fill their shopping baskets and race around at high speed in their cars regardless of fuel costs. An interesting statistic is that the 10P charge on disposable plastic bags has only reduced the usage by 20 %. It's reduced my usage to zero so I'm puzzled why all the "poverty stricken" people are not availing themselves of the same savings.
 

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Considering only the cost of fuel here, but what riles me is that people with prepayment meter, who I would imagine are usually those least well off in society, have to pay a higher rate for their fuel. That’s just plain wrong. I for one would gladly pay a few pence more per unit in order to help them get a lower rate. Plus you consider they pay in advance for the product, most on billing don’t.

Think as a society we should be ashamed of this.
 

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I have an idea (that would be almost self-funding) to help with the energy prices. Put a hold on the Green Levy portion of energy bills - even if it means pushing out the carbon neutral date. Would help people and the cost would not have to be found from reductions in other services! Win Win! lol

My consultancy bill will follow :banana:
 

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In terms of getting the economy and inflation under control a big problem for the government is hysterical media reporting, The only chance of taming inflation is if the public can foresee inflation coming down so that they will settle for moderate pay rises.
I agree that media hysteria is damaging, but HMG could quash much of it were it to publish believable inflation targets and be seen to take action to achieve them. If they were to do that then the public would also have a target to aim at with respect to pay rise demands instead of the fog we have today.

Instead, they maintain the fiction that their inflation target is 2% and do a "nothing to do with me guv" shrug when it is missed by a country mile. The reality is that they could do things to bear down on inflation (such as limiting the money supply and raising interest rates) but choose not to.
 

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Considering only the cost of fuel here, but what riles me is that people with prepayment meter, who I would imagine are usually those least well off in society, have to pay a higher rate for their fuel. That’s just plain wrong. I for one would gladly pay a few pence more per unit in order to help them get a lower rate. Plus you consider they pay in advance for the product, most on billing don’t.

Think as a society we should be ashamed of this.
I had a pre payment meter in one of the houses I rented a while ago. I checked the rate when I moved in and it was comparable to the best rate available at the time so I wasn't over charged at all but I do believe some people who default on their bills are charged more to make up some of their previous defaults. What used to amuse me was when buying the gas portion in winter, I'd ask for £200 to be put on my key card at a time while others in the queue would ask for £5 and £20 of scratch cards!
 
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ChrisHGTV

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I have an idea (that would be almost self-funding) to help with the energy prices. Put a hold on the Green Levy portion of energy bills - even if it means pushing out the carbon neutral date. Would help people and the cost would not have to be found from reductions in other services! Win Win! lol

My consultancy bill will follow :banana:
I have no doubt the carbon neutral date will be pushed out. Everyone seemed to agree it was an (over?) aggressive target even before covid and the war in Ukraine put additional pressure on everyone’s finances.

In addition to my comments above about oil and gas companies, the main players in carbon sequestration are oil and gas companies. And sequestration seems the only real way of reaching net zero. If they are subject to windfall taxes I image that part of the business will be put on ice.
 

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What can any of us plan for?
Actually, the current exceptional conditions notwithstanding, quite a lot. By contrast, "windfall" taxes are effectively an arbitrary charge levied at random in undefined circumstances.

When such a tax was applied to banks, it was reasonably justified because the extra profits they were making were as a direct result of government policy to hike interest rates. That's not the case with energy companies in the current environment, and I saw no rush to give them tax money when they were making losses when energy prices fell due to the collapse in demand during the pandemic.
 

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DrNick

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The issue with “windfall” taxes is that businesses can't plan for them and therefore they add uncertainty to long-term investments.

It would be much better to instead grant licences for exploration / production with the interests of the State incorporated - much like the Norwegian's did - up front.
But surely the issue with windfall profits is that companies can’t plan for them either!
As has been pointed out, investment is planned several years in advance, so a sudden influx of cash leads to large profits. If they acted fast and invested in the current year, there would be no excess profit to tax. You can only tax a declared profit. Up to the company to decide how best to do that.
Also better to accelerate renewable investment rather than new exploration. New exploration will result in production for many years after this crisis has gone away, and that will suddenly be regarded as a bad thing. Best to think ahead and do proper strategic planning.
 

st13phil

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But surely the issue with windfall profits is that companies can’t plan for them either!
Absolutely. But if someone at random gifted me (say) £100k it wouldn't stop me meeting my liabilities, whereas if that same person at random took £100k from me I would struggle. Same principle for business. Remember also that "cash" and "profit" are not one and the same.
 

DrNick

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I have no doubt the carbon neutral date will be pushed out. Everyone seemed to agree it was an (over?) aggressive target even before covid and the war in Ukraine put additional pressure on everyone’s finances.
If we accept that the scientists are right and climate change is a thing, then carbon neutral becomes the priority and is non-negotiable.
I know this will be a can of worms, but climate change is a bad thing and should be top of our agenda. We can’t afford to be wrong and short term issues shouldn’t get in the way.
 

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If we accept that the scientists are right and climate change is a thing, then carbon neutral becomes the priority and is non-negotiable.
I know this will be a can of worms, but climate change is a bad thing and should be top of our agenda. We can’t afford to be wrong and short term issues shouldn’t get in the way.

Well it's a thing.

It's also very fashionable thing whre just about every piece of publicised research on anything has to have some reference back to it.

(I'd like to know if the Covid lockdowns and demonstrated any effect .... if they didn't then I'd like to know why).

But the world is a complicated place and right now Russia is a bigger tactical threat to mankind than climate change. So I would be worrying about that tactical energy supply and use now and stategic path to carbon neutrality later. The apprach taken by variuous governments in the west has been dogmatic and from a security point of view- dangerous.
 

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