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Analysis: How Calls For A Windfall Tax Have Exposed Deep Splits In The Tory Party

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Voters are seeing their energy bills soar

Few issues in recent years have done more to expose the Conservatives’ ideological confusion than how best to respond to the cost of living crisis.

At the 2019 general election, Boris Johnson secured an 80-seat majority by managing to unite traditional Labour voters in the north with old-school Tories in the south, thanks largely to his pledge to “get Brexit done”.

As a result, the prime minister now leads a government seemingly wedded to big state intervention on the one hand, while trying to present itself as a tax-cutting administration on the other.

Something inevitably had to give, and Labour’s calls for a windfall tax on oil and gas companies has proved to be the catalyst.

Like a rabbit in the headlights, the Conservatives seem unable to decide how best to address the public’s concerns over soaring energy bills and food prices.

Opinion polls suggest a one-off levy on the astronomical profits being enjoyed by energy firms, with the billions raised being used to bring down bills, is wildly popular with the public.

Nevertheless, a succession of ministers have been forced onto the airwaves in recent weeks to argue against such a move on the grounds that it would deter........

© HuffPost

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