Shell is making obscene profits while the country spends billions subsiding energy bills. The company reported its largest ever profits and quite possible the highest profits of any British company ever, $40bn.
The year before it made $19bn and since it has not bought any other firms, expanded its business significantly or invented a new form of energy; this is just a windfall gain from higher energy prices.
The moral and economically sensible thing is to tax this gain, all of it. The problem is not that this would restrict investment or is unfair, it isn’t. The problem is that the government is so insanely free market that it sees nothing wrong with unearned profits.
Given its members tax affairs maybe we should not be surprised but given its heroine is Margaret Thatcher maybe it should remember that she was not averse to windfall taxes.
Meanwhile the other main story this morning is that British Gas is employing laughing debt collectors to gleefully break into the homes of the poor and vulnerable and forcibly install pre-payment meters.
If they had any sense industry leaders would be volunteering to pay billions to HMRC, over the objections of the government if necessary. Their reputations will not survive much more of this, people are cold and hungry this winter.
After all the money to help it is just waiting to be paid into the Exchequer.
But the government would rather people freeze than tax obscene profits. Their political philosophy knows no other way.
Economics, trade and Brexit, not necessarily in that order but the dog always comes first.
By Jonty Bloom Media