Keir Starmer got straight to the point. After a terse congratulations on her appointment, the Labor leader asked new Prime Minister Liz Truss in the House of Commons if she was serious about rejecting an excess profits tax for energy companies. This set the topic of the new confrontation exactly 24 hours after Truss’ inauguration. In the coming days and weeks she will have to explain how she intends to finance her aid package to reduce energy costs. She doesn’t want to present this until this Thursday, but it has already leaked out that it could exceed the hundred billion pound threshold.
The Labor Party, which has long called for a freeze on energy prices, wants the oil and gas industry in particular to recover the costs. Truss fears this will “scar investors away.” But because it also rejects other tax increases, it will probably have to take on new debts, which in turn will have to be paid by the taxpayers at some point. “It’s nothing new that when a Conservative Prime Minister is asked who should pay for this, he says: you, the British workers!” said Starmer. Truss responded: “It’s nothing new for a Labor leader to be calling for higher taxes.”