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Jamie Stone wants 'Robin Hood tax' to help families facing soaring energy bills

By Gordon Calder

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A call has been made for "a Robin Hood tax" to be imposed on energy companies to help families facing soaring bills.

It was made by Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP Jamie Stone, who claims the one-off levy could raise over £5 billion to help support households throughout the country with rising energy costs.

Mr Stone has written to UK energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng demanding that he backs the Liberal Democrats' call for the tax on the super-profits of oil and gas firms.

The Lib Dems say the money raised could fund "a substantial package of emergency support to help thousands of people facing higher bills".

Jamie Stone says the measure would help struggling families in his constituency. Picture: UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor
Jamie Stone says the measure would help struggling families in his constituency. Picture: UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor

The tax could pay for a doubling of the Warm Home Discount and extend it to all those receiving Universal Credit or Pension Credit, giving 7075 households in Caithness, Sutherland, and Easter Ross £300 each off their heating bills this year.

The party is also calling for the winter fuel allowance to be doubled, benefitting 14,010 pensioners in the area and helping them keep their homes warm. On top of this, funding could be spent on helping people insulate their homes to slash heating bills in the long term.

In addition, the money could be used to fund a new ten-year home insulation scheme costing £500 million with a similar sum to support energy intensive businesses.

Mr Stone said: "It can’t be right that a few energy firms are making millions from record gas prices while people can't even afford to heat their homes as the cost-of-living crisis hits the Highlands hard.

"A one-off Robin Hood tax on gas and oil bosses would provide vital funding to support families in our area who are facing crippling energy price hikes.

"This would provide enormous amounts of support to the thousands of residents in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross who are facing a crippling 50 per cent increase to their energy bills."

He added: "For years the Conservatives have ignored this problem and failed to take the bold action we need to reduce fuel poverty. The government cannot look the other way any longer while families struggle to get by."

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