Thursday, January 24, 2008

Left-wingers call for windfall tax on energy profits

Whenever energy prices go up you can always guarantee that the usual suspects on the Left will start talking about vulnerable people and nasty profit driven companies. Hence we have a motion signed by Abbott, Corbyn et al calling on the Government to introduce a one-off windfall tax on energy company profit in order to fund an increase in the winter fuel payment that the oldies get.

How about this for a better idea though. How about sorting out the system so that someone who retires to the Mediterranean doesn't get the payment to keep them warm in the winter for a start? In 2005/06 £4,215,000 in Winter Fuel Payments was sent to claimants in Greece, Spain, Italy, Malta, Cyprus and Portugal.

I simply do not understand the way the Left always see the creation of a tax as the solution. Why not start managing the systems you have properly and stop wasting money on pointless IT projects that fail to deliver? There is plenty of money in the system, its just the way it's being spent that is the problem.


Anonymous said...

And how about a sliding scale for the WFP based on obesity. After all we failed anorexics are better insulated than lesser mortals.

Or, maybe just do away with hypothecation - it's only a political marketing ploy.

Simon Fawthrop said...

They always consider a windfall tax on profits but never the reverse.

I am reminded of a story that was told to me at the time by someone who was senior in this company. When the mobile phone company that is now T-Mobile was building its network in the early 90's one of its employees asked the CEO, at an open meeting, if the company would implement a profit sharing scheme? His reponse was only when the employees accept a loss sharing scheme.

M said...

Putting a tax on something saves having to find real solutions to real problems, it doesn't matter if it's facile and counterproductive because there's always another facile stunt available when the current one inevitably fails.

What's more, there is an inherent jealousy in much left wing thinking (somebody is richer than I am, I want to take their money away; someone works harder than I do, they make me feel bad for beeing lazy; someone is cleverer than me, I want the bar lowered etc..., this kind of "solution" plays well with those people.

Barnacle Bill said...

Dizzy your solutions is too elitist for our friends on the left wing.
People would be getting paid different amounts.
One payment for all is the slogan!

anthonynorth said...

Don't they get it? Taxing them more causes prices to go up, thus making it more expensive for people they claim they're trying to help.
It must be nice living in a fantasy world.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Greece can be bloody cold in winter.

Anonymous said...

They should concern themselves more with the security of our energy sources rather than how to milk more revenue - morons!

Mark Wadsworth said...

Totally agreed.

The government is already getting a windfall tax, because when fuel prices go up, VAT receipts go up. Furthermore, North Sea oil companies pay 50% corporation tax, not 30% corporation tax.

However, I don't agree with Anthonynorth's point. Corporation tax (unlike VAT and other turnover/sales taxes) is much less likely to be passed on in higher prices, otherwise low-cost/high-profit producers (who pay more corp tax) would charge higher prices than high-cost/low-profit producers (who pay less corp tax). Which they clearly don't.