Truss says “profit is not a dirty word”

Oil and gas trade body has urged Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to remove the windfall tax

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Profits made by companies, including energy giants are not “dirty” or “evil”.

This is what Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary and one of the Prime Minister candidates said during the sixth official leadership hustings.

She told the audience of party faithful: “One thing I absolutely don’t support is a windfall tax. I think it’s a Labour idea, it’s all about bashing business and it sends the wrong message to international investors and to the public.

“I don’t think profit is a dirty word and the fact it’s become a dirty word in our society is a massive problem.

“In this audience today, we have hundreds of people who run businesses and make a profit and I think that’s a good thing.

“Now, of course, the energy giants if they are in an oligopoly, should be held to account and I would make sure they are rigorously held to account. But the way we band the word around profit as if it’s something that’s dirty and evil, we shouldn’t be doing that as Conservatives.”

In the last few weeks, energy giants such as Shell, bp and Centrica have been criticised over the massive profits they have posted amid the energy crisis.

The Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), formerly known as Oil and Gas UK, has written open letters to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss asking them to “remove Energy Profits Levy when possible and no later than the sunset clause of 2025″.

The trade association suggests there is “disappointment and concern” in the sector over the “detrimental” impact the new levy will have on investment.

It explains: “This is largely because introducing a new tax so suddenly, and with relatively little consultation, risks destabilising investor confidence.”

ELN contacted Rishi Sunak’s campaign team and Liz Truss’ parliamentary office for comment – they did not respond before publication.