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BP profits soar to £6.9bn as families are left unable to afford energy bills

Labour is calling on the government to protect people from rising energy bills.

Energy giant BP has reported huge profits of £6.9billion between April and June as families are left facing sky-high bills during a cost of living crisis.

The amount is the second highest in the company’s history. It’s triple the figure made in the same three months last year.

It covers the period directly after the energy price cap increased by 54 per cent – £693 for most households – a record rise. The monthly rise in both gas and electricity prices were by far the largest recorded since 1988.

Citizens Advice revealed last week it has seen a “truly unprecedented number of people who can’t afford to top up their prepayment energy meter”. That means they can’t afford to turn on their fridge or heat their hob. By the end of June, more people had approached Citizens Advice about their energy bills than in each of the past three years. 

BP CEO Bernard Looney said the company has worked to solve an “energy trilemma” and introduce “secure, affordable and lower carbon energy”. He claimed BP is “investing to accelerate the energy transition”.

But Looney also likened BP to a “cash machine” in November – when their profits leapt to $4.1bn. The BP boss’s pay was £4.5m in 2021. He received a £1.3m annual salary and £2.4m in bonuses. 

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The Conservatives – eventually – announced a £5bn windfall tax on energy companies in May after sustained pressure from campaigners. But the government continues to face criticism for giving companies incentives to invest in oil and gas, rather than green alternatives. 

Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss has announced she will not impose further windfall taxes on energy companies if she becomes leader.

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Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said: “People are worried sick about energy prices rising again in the autumn, but yet again we see eye-watering profits for oil and gas producers.

“Labour argued for months for a windfall tax on these companies to help bring bills down, but when the Tories finally u-turned they decided to hand billions of pounds back to producers in tax breaks. That is totally wrong.

 “It’s clear people need greater protection from rising bills. That’s why Labour would use this money now to help people get through the winter. 

“But we can’t carry on like this. Labour would bring down energy bills for good with a green energy sprint for home-grown power, and a 10-year warm homes plan to cut bills for 19 million cold, draughty homes.”

Household energy bills are expected rise to more than £3,600 this winter, according to new research from Consultancy Cornwall Insight. It’s hundreds of pounds more than previous predictions. 

Sharon Graham, head of the Unite union, said on Twitter: “Household energy bills are continuing to rise to a calamitous £3,600 a year. How can this contrast continue time after time? The British economy does not work for workers and their families. Britain’s real crisis isn’t rising prices, it’s an epidemic of unfettered profiteering.”

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Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Christmas. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Christmas.

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