Christine Jardine – 2022 Speech on Energy (Oil and Gas) Profits

The speech made by Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, in the House of Commons on 5 July 2022.

This is a strange evening indeed to be discussing the motion before us, which is in the name of the now former Chancellor.

The Liberal Democrats first called for a windfall tax back in October last year. If a windfall tax had been brought in then, £3 billion more would already have been raised for the Exchequer. That is £3 billion that could have been used to offset the hardship faced by families and pensioners up and down the country who are struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis.

There are many more things that need to be taken into account, and I hope that the new Chancellor, whoever he or she may be, listens to the people of this country who have been taken for granted for far too long. However, I must admit that I find it strange to hear the SNP talking about the chaos created by Westminster when those of us who live in Scotland know about the chaos that is being created there—in the NHS, with its longest waiting times; in our education system, which is failing; and with record drug deaths.

Briefly—because this is an important night—I remind the Government that there was something they could have done earlier for the people of this country to alleviate the hardship of the cost of living crisis. There is more that they can still do: they can cut VAT. I hope that between now and Monday they might change the windfall tax to help it raise more money, and they might reconsider the money that will go into fossil fuels rather than green technologies.