The idea of ​​taxing oil groups’ “excessive profits” is gaining ground – rts.ch

On the one hand consumers are being strangled by gas and electricity bills, while other companies are defrauding billions: a part of Europe has decided to tax the windfall profits of some big groups, especially in the energy sector.

Some groups’ profits have exploded in recent months as energy prices have risen: British oil giant Shell’s $18 billion (17 billion francs) in the second quarter, British BP’s $9.26 billion (8.7 billion francs), a three-fold increase. Profits for the period were 3.8 billion euros (3.7 billion francs) for Italy’s Eni and 5.7 billion euros (5.5 billion francs) for France’s Total Energy. Spanish Repsol has seen its profits grow 165% since January.

Rising energy prices at the same time put millions of households at risk and cause states to spend significant sums. The OECD estimates direct support from its member countries and some partners for the consumption of fossil fuels by the end of October 2021 and 2022 at $169 billion.

“Greed” and “slanderous” profits UN

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on August 3 condemned the “greed” of big oil and gas companies that make “ridiculous” profits “on the backs of the poor” thanks to the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine and called on governments to tax them. they.

“It is immoral for oil and gas companies to reap record profits from this energy crisis, on the backs of poor people and communities, at great cost to the climate.”

Antonio Guterres presented the third UN report on the global consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. It estimates that by the end of 2022, 345 million people in 82 countries could find themselves in food insecure situations, or 47 million more because of this war.

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Political responsibility?

At a forum last Saturday, Samuel Bendahan, economist and National Socialist councilor for Vaud, said the problem is that “these companies don’t deserve this because they made good investment decisions. They benefited from the crisis situation”.

The elected Vaudois ruled that the “price adjustment” system was not working. Prices can explode quickly in a pump, and declines can be very slow. According to him, “something is not working” and “it is politically unacceptable that billions can be made in a crisis like this”.

>> Listen again to the forum discussion on taxation of oil companies’ “excess profits”.

Should tax be introduced on super profits? Discussion between Samuel Bendahan and Mark Shelker / Forum / 9 min. / Saturday at 6:07 p.m

Several lines were decided

Last to date, Spain announced in mid-July a tax on the extraordinary profits of big energy and financial firms that could bring in 3.5 billion euros a year over two years.

Earlier, London introduced a 25% tax on profits for oil and gas companies at the end of May, which should raise £5 billion. Similar to Italy’s ratio.

Romania and Greece have imposed measures affecting energy groups.

France, which has imposed price caps on gas and electricity involving EDF, wants to solicit initiatives from the big groups. Threatened by the tax, oil giant TotalEnergies announced a full-year discount on gasoline worth about 500 million euros.

The question was also asked in Switzerland

The question of tax also arises in Switzerland. The head of the center, Gerhard Pfister, questioned the Federal Council on the matter at the beginning of the summer. An idea supported by the Greens.

Central to this question is the difference between profit and super profit or how to qualify exceptional profit during a crisis?

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The debate has only just begun and it should be on the agenda for the parliamentary session that begins in a month’s time.

>> See also descriptions of the 7:30 p.m.

Teaching by Theo Jeanette / 7:30 pm / 1 min. / At 7:30 yesterday morning.

Cart with afp

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