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Sunday, 26 June 2022
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Boris Johnson: No option is off the table to tackle cost of living
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Photo: Official Facebook page)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that"no option is off the table" to tackle rising living costs as pressure grows to impose a windfall tax on oil and gas firms.

According to the BBC,the policy, as proposed by opposition parties, would see a one-off levy on company profits, with proceeds used to support hard-hit households facing surging bills.

The prime minister said he was "not attracted intrinsically to new taxes".

But he said the government was "going to put our arms round people" to help.

Mr Johnson told reporters: "There is more that we are going to do... you'll just have to wait a little bit longer."

Selection of vegetables in London market - Pixabay

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said part of the answer to tackling the cost of living was a windfall tax and it was "staring the prime minister in the face".

He said ministers needed to address the situation, adding: "Every day they dither and delay, more people are struggling, really struggling, with their bills."

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Earlier, the chief secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clarke, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was not "philosophically attracted" to a windfall tax, but he could not rule it out.

He insisted the government would be pragmatic, and added that it was "looking at the situation with real urgency and intent".

Asked if a windfall tax went against Conservative values, Mr Johnson said: "I don't like new taxes." He added: "No option is off the table, let's be absolutely clear about that. I'm not attracted, intrinsically, to new taxes.

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"But as I have said throughout, we have got to do what we can - and we will - to look after people through the aftershocks of Covid, through the current pressures on energy prices that we are seeing post-Covid and with what's going on in Russia and we are going to put our arms round people, just as we did during the pandemic."

The PM pointed to support on offer already, including £9bn of funding targeted at energy bills, saying the government was providing a "continuing stream of effort to shield people".

Source: BBC