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SNP accused of ‘siding with the energy giants’ by opposing Labour’s windfall tax plans


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Humza Yousaf has been accused of “siding with the energy giants” after attacking Labour’s plans for an increased windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas.

The Scottish first minister said the SNP would oppose Labour’s plan to lift the energy profits levy from 75 per cent to 78 per cent and extend it to 2029.

In a speech in Aberdeen, he said the planned rise had caused “extreme anger” in the north-east of Scotland.

Labour’s proposals have faced criticism from the oil and gas industry.

The first minister warned that Labour’s “raid the north-east energy industry” could sacrifice up to 100,000 jobs in the industry.

“We support a windfall tax in order to protect people during a cost of living crisis. But Labour’s plans to increase this to pay for new nuclear power plants in England is plain wrong and will cost tens of thousands, if not more, jobs in the north east.”

He also accused Labour leader Keir Starmer of “doubling down on austerity” with his plans if the party wins the upcoming general election.

Yousaf said the SNP wants to “unleash the potential of Scotland’s green revolution” while supporting jobs in the oil and gas industry.

Citing the Labour Party’s recent U-turn on its £28 billion green spending pledge, he added: “Westminster is so broken, so skewed to the right, that even Labour know they can’t win unless they promise to be just as right wing as the Conservatives”.

Labour’s Scottish secretary Ian Murray said Yousaf’s position was “completely incoherent and out of touch”.

“Last year energy giants recorded profits of £33bn while a third of households in Scotland were living in fuel poverty. But after a dizzying series of U-turns, it seems the SNP has decided to side with the energy giants.”

“It beggars belief that Humza Yousaf thinks that a person earning more than £28,500 deserves to pay more tax but energy giants earning billions in profits from soaring bills should pay less.”

However, Murray added that the oil and gas sector would continue to play a “key role” in the UK energy system for decades to come, and Labour’s plans would “ensure” that future jobs and opportunities came to the north east.

At the Scottish Labour conference in Glasgow on Sunday, Keir Starmer promised work in the North Sea oil and gas sector would continue “for decades to come”.

Josh Self is Editor of Politics.co.uk, follow him on Twitter here.

Politics.co.uk is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.

The post SNP accused of ‘siding with the energy giants’ by opposing Labour’s windfall tax plans appeared first on Politics.co.uk.