Amid the crippling energy crisis that has seen bills soar for millions of Britons, the former Brexit Party leader claims he has the answers. It comes as the decision to impose a windfall tax on energy companies is reportedly splitting the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Instead, Mr Farage argues that Government should help energy companies to fast-track applications for new oil and gas projects.
He wrote in an opinion piece for The Telegraph: “Johnson should begin by calling the gas and oil chiefs into No 10 immediately.
“He should explain to them that the political pressures for a windfall tax were becoming hard to resist.
“But, if they are prepared to work with the Government in a new energy partnership and promise to reinvest their profits in new offshore and onshore projects, the Government will do all it can to fast-track the applications.”
Supporters of a windfall tax have argued that energy companies making sky-high profits while customers fork out more for the bills should get taxed.
The tax on these profits would then go towards paying for discounts for customers with spiralling energy bills as the cost-of-living crisis continues to unfold.
But critics say this would discourage investment, with one of Mr Johnson’s advisors reportedly claiming it is an “ideologically unconservative thing to do”.
Instead, Mr Farage wants the extra profits raised by energy companies to go towards new domestic projects instead, helping the UK to access its own energy reserves instead of being subject to rising international prices on foreign imports.
He claimed this would see the UK strike three major wins, including the creation of tens of thousands of well-paid jobs and increased tax revenue.
He wrote on Twitter that this plan is “cheaper, more reliable energy for all consumers” and “does not involve a windfall tax”.
But critics are concerned about the push to keep digging for fossil fuels goes against the Government’s net zero targets at a time when we should be considering renewable alternatives instead.
And as Britain only gets five percent of its gas from Russia, it was already not too reliant on the country which sent prices soaring by slashing its gas shipments to Europe.
But gas prices in the UK are affected by an integrated international market, and Britain has still felt the shocks.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, energy prices soared by 70 percent in the year to April, a rate of increase not seen for over 30 years.
It added that “Ofgem figures imply that for an average household this means an increase in gas and electricity bills of nearly £60 per month”.
Mike Foster, head of Energy and Utilities Alliance told Express.co.uk: “Longer term, we need to switch our gas from fossil gas to hydrogen, made in the UK from renewable sources, freeing us from the grip of Putin and other unsavoury regimes.”