Scottish energy secretary Michael Matheson has backed an extension to the North Sea windfall tax, and said he would broaden it to a range of other industries.
Earlier this week, the Labour party mooted proposals to backdate the levy, first unveiled by Rishi Sunak in May, on the oil and gas industry in order to place a freeze on the energy price cap for households.
Speaking to Energy Voice, Mr Matheson said “there’s good reason to revisit a further windfall tax and not just on the oil and gas sector, but also on those sectors that have done very well during the course of the pandemic”.
Mr Matheson’s colleague, Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn, has previously mooted a “cross-sector” levy for Amazon and other large retailers, as well as energy companies.
It comes as household bills are expected to surge from an average of £1,400 last October to nearly £4,300 by this coming January, according to analyst firm Cornwall Insight, due to rocketing natural gas prices.
Mr Matheson said: “The tax which is raised from that could help to support not only stopping any further price cap increase, but also helped to support investment in energy efficiency programmes and in mechanisms that can help to support households experiencing difficulty meeting their energy bills.
“So I’m in favour of extending some form of targeted tax take from the oil and gas sector, but I believe it should also be extended to those other sectors that have done very well during the course of the pandemic, to ensure that we maximise the potential resource available to help to support households.”
Prior to Mr Matheson’s comments, industry body Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) has stated that an extension to the windfall tax would cause “untold damage” to energy security, damaging investment in domestic supply and further reliance on imports.