“Nothing is more important than delivering for our customers – it’s why we are here.”
These are the words of Centrica’s chief executive Chris O’Shea following this morning’s announcement of a surge in earnings. In the first 6 months of this year, Centrica made a statutory operating profit of £6.5bn, helped by a 900% surge in profits at British Gas (owned by Centrica Energy Group). This announcement comes shortly after Shell reported profits of £3.9bn for the second quarter of the year.
Customers would be justified in their outrage at these profits and at O’Shea’s words, a profit surge amid a cost-of-living crisis where many households struggle to keep up with out-of-control energy bills doesn’t quite fit the slogan ‘Delivering for our customers’; perhaps ‘delivering for our shareholders’ didn’t sound quite as good in the morning news round.
The obscene profits of Shell and Centrica are a gross injustice, a slap in the face to households across the UK struggling with a cost-of-living crisis, and a reminder that there is far too much money to be made from dirty fossil fuels to trust these energy giants to lead on a fair, just and green energy transition.
Last year, the Government was forced to introduce a one-off windfall tax on energy profits, but it was far too little, far too little.
The UK Government needs to tax these profiteering polluters more with a new, increased windfall tax, using profits to protect everyday households struggling to get by; invest in a just and fair, green energy transition; and support low-income countries who have done the least to cause the climate crisis but sadly feel its impact the hardest.
Join us in prayer
Guide us all to act justly with the resources entrusted to us.
Strengthen the movement for a fairer, greener economy, one which puts people and planet before profit.
Guide politicians, CEOs and all those in power to act for the common good.
Bryn Lauder, JustMoney Movement Communications & Campaigns Manager