'Why doesn't he make up his mind?' Truss slams Blackford over SNP's windfall tax demands

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In Liz Truss’ first outing as leader of the Conservatives and the country during Prime Minister’s Questions, she faced an onslaught of calls to introduce a windfall tax to pay for the surging cost of living. Following the lead of Sir Keir Starmer, Mr Blackford accused the new Prime Minister of installing a “Truss tax” that would amount to a “decade-long raid on the bank accounts of ordinary taxpayers”. But Ms Truss was undeterred in her conviction to oppose a windfall tax and questioned how Mr Blackford could simultaneously oppose further gas and oil extraction from the North Sea yet support an increase in taxes of major energy corporations. Ms Truss was suggesting that Mr Blackford has no notion of where energy provisions will come from, as he was opposing the possibility of more domestically-produced supplies while discouraging foreign companies from dealing in the UK. 

Mr Blackford said: “On her first full day as Prime Minister, she has failed to rule out a Truss tax on households and businesses. Instead of targeting the profits of massive corporations with a windfall tax, the Prime Minister’s plan appears to be a decade-long raid on the bank accounts of ordinary taxpayers. 

“These costs must not be passed on to consumers and business by deferring bills. Government must announce an enhanced windfall tax making sure those oil and gas producers pay their fair share of excess profits. Does the Prime Minister understand that her first act will now define her, a Truss tax that households and businesses will be paying for years to come? 

Ms Truss responded: “Well, I’m not quite what the right honourable gentleman’s position is because on the one hand, he does not seem to want oil and gas extraction from the North Sea but on the other hand, he wants them to pay more taxes. Why does he not make up his mind?” 

The Tory backbenches then erupted into laughter, with newly-appointed foreign secretary James Cleverly holding his hands out with an ear-to-ear smile across his face. 

 

She added: “I understand that people across our country are struggling with the cost of living and they are struggling with their energy bills.

“That is why I, as Prime Minister, will take immediate action to help people with the cost of their energy bills and I will be making an announcement to this House on that tomorrow and giving people certainty to make sure that they are able to get through this winter and be able to have the energy supplies and be able to afford it.”

In response to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has pushed for a levy on the £170 billion of “excess profits” that oil and gas producers are expected to enjoy over the coming years, Ms Truss rejected a windfall tax.

“I am against a windfall tax, I believe it is the wrong thing to be putting companies off investing in the United Kingdom just when we need to be growing the economy,” she said.

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