'Expense of our health, children and lives': Energy giants savaged after huge BP profits

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The UK’s biggest energy companies have been torn apart over huge profits they are posting during the cost of living crisis, with a campaigner fuming they are “at the expense of our health, our children, and sometimes our lives”. Fury has exploded again after oil giant BP posted revealed profits more than doubled for the most recent quarter as prices for motorists at the petrol pumps remain incredibly high. 

The London-listed company reported massive underlying profits of £7.1billion for the three months to September – a jump from the £2.9billion figure posted for the same period in 2021.

The eye-watering number was also significantly ahead of the £5.3billion expected by many leading market analysts.

Last week, rival Shell said its adjusted earnings more than doubled to £8.2billion over its latest quarter as gas prices remained high.

But the massive financial numbers being posted by UK energy giants has only added to the growing anger as millions of families struggle to meet ends meet in the cost of living crisis.

Ruth London from campaign group Fuel Poverty Action told Express.co.uk: “The profits these energy giants are making come straight from the money that we’re forced to pay, at the expense of our health, our children, and sometimes our lives.”

FairFuelUK founder Howard Cox told this website: “Hundreds of our supporters tell me they have changed their driving habits considerably due to the cost of filling up, not seeing their families so much, cutting back on their weekly shop, dropping going out to the cinema or restaurant.

“In one case a cancer case cannot afford to attend their weekly chemotherapy treatments, choosing to go fortnightly instead.”

He added: “BP’s continuing opportune huge profits are as a direct result of exploiting global energy price insecurity, nefarious gambling on related commodity prices, taking advantage of a tax break brought in by Rishi Sunak and their ruthless exploitation of drivers at the pumps.”

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak’s tax bomb will ‘leave everyone worse off’

“Healthy profits are vital, but profiteering must be checked. It is clear that in the last three years the fuel supply chain has more than doubled its retail margins at the pumps.

“We must not blame the small independent garages as they are not profiteering. No, it’s the big wholesalers and branded oil corporations who supply them, that are still fleecing the UK economy, the world’s highest taxed drivers and making our cost of living even more dire.”

BP’s bumper quarter profits has also only added to miunting pressure for an enhanced windfall tax on oil and gas giants to help fill the Treasury coffers.

The oil giant confirmed it expects to pay around £693m ($800m) in UK windfall tax this year, a levy introduced in May by then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak, which applies to profits made from extracting UK oil and gas.#

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BP has told shareholders it will pay out £2.2billion ($2.5billion) in taxes for its UK North Sea business this year, as well as £695million ($800million) of tax related to the energy profits levy.

But last week, Shell warned it does not expect to pay out for the tax this year as firms have the ability to offset potential tax payments through investment.

Dr George Dibb, head of the Centre for Economic Justice at the IPPR think tank, told Express.co.uk: “We know that even with the energy price guarantee in place many people will be struggling with their bills.

“They will rightly be appalled to see fossil fuel firms reaping huge profits and passing a huge chunk of these directly back to already-wealthy shareholders via dividends and share buybacks.

“What is even worse, is that these are taxed at a much lower rate than taxes on income paid by working people.”



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